Tag Archives: human condition

Welcome Packet

Dearest lover,
I have compiled
a list of instructions—
a user guide for this body
you claim to love—
know first
that my heart
is not filled by you—
you alone do not feed
or complete me.
There will always be
an unnamed vacancy
beside you.
Please know
my time with you
will never be enough
and will often be too much
and I will need
to recede into solitude
where I will suffer
from regrets
I will never share with you.
I will expect you
to read my mind
when I am silent—
and when you can’t
I’ll withdraw from you
for a while
until I remember
you can’t see
into my imagination.
When I re-emerge
I’ll require copious
amounts of affection
and will need
to give you even more
than I receive.
Know that I will need you
more than you need me
but I will never
show it.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-2-18

Suicide Attempt 

Mine
will start
in the car
and take me
to the edge
of California
because
that’s
the kind
of beauty
I want
to end up in
and
on the way
I’ll have time
to think
about
why
and why not
and I’ll stop
only
for fuel
and food
to keep
me alive
until I get
to the
redwoods
which
I’ll need
to see first
before
I go black
and it’s a
small hope
that they
will remind me
I have options
and to
go back
where
I came from
because
they know
what’s it’s like
to feel stuck
in one place
for so long
and still
grow.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-13-17

You Wonder

You wonder
if you’ve ever
been imagined
into someone’s day
someone’s life
someone’s fantasy—
have you ever
been wished
onto a plane
or into the woods
or into a warm bed
on a winter night
for a connection
that had nothing
to do with sex
and everything
to do with love—
and you wonder
if even once
you’ve been wanted
by the one you want—
if even once
there’s been a match
in this universe
that could have
saved your life
pulled you up
and out of despair
but both of you
believed the other
deserved a kind
of perfection
out of your price range
so both of you
ended up here
on a blank page—
one of you writing
and one of you
reading into it
whatever you can.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-28-17

“Waiting by the Window” by Carl Holsoe, 1865

With the Dead

It’s a cold night
almost Christmas
and I am wishing
it would all
be over
when I find myself
stuck in traffic
driving slow
parallel
to the ancient
iron fencing
between me
and the cemetery
and I pull in
as if someone
is calling my name
from behind
the skeleton trees
and I follow
the narrowing road
to its logical
dead end
and I kill the engine
and step out
to touch the granite
stones
that are so heavy
with what it means
to be crushed
by an accumulation
of days
and I lay down
on the earth
beside a man
named Jim
who died in 1913
and then I stare
at the moon
as if it could answer
the question
of how to feel
alive.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-16-17

Blood Loss

Please, heart,
stay where you are—
safe in the pocket of air
that surrounds you,
keeps you protected
from the blows
that are small enough
not to break you
but still bruise.

Please, heart,
listen this time—
remember the way it hurt
to beat for love
that was only half
fulfilled, half empty
every time
you pressed against
a foreign rhythm.

Please, heart,
don’t make this mistake—
don’t open your doors
for love
and settle for pleasure
when you know
how much it costs
to come so close
and still bleed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
11-28-17

Parking Lot

I erased
all your emails
that were delivered
to my impatient
inbox
every morning
with love
and a photo
of what no one else
would see
and when I
put them in the trash
I knew I’d have 30 days
to change my mind
to recover
these messages
punctuated
by emojis and hearts
and images
that caused
a tiny explosion
inside my heart
but sitting here in
the parking lot
with your last smile
in my hand
I am going for broke
I am emptying
the recycle bin
I am wiping away
the year
from my cheeks.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-29-17

 

September Revelation 

Dearest
It occurred to me
Only today
That I might not
Love you
Forever
Or uninterrupted
That whatever we are
Might just
Be for now
For the time being
Until something
Happens
To bend
Break
Sever
Our bond
Which is only
A feeling in the air
Between us
And someone else
Might step in
To take you
Lure you
Steal your heart
Or my heart
Away
Which happens
All the time
Because I am not
The only one
And you
Are not
The only one
Who can make me laugh
Or bring me
The kind of joy
That inspires
A commitment
To the lie
That love
Is irreplaceable
And always true.

DeMaris
9-21-17