Tag Archives: lies

Navigational Error

4 a.m. isn’t a good time
to walk through the door
when you are supposed to be
sleeping on the couch
where you’ve slept
for almost half your marriage
because the bed wasn’t big enough
for you after she decided
she wanted to sleep
with all your flaws
packed in between you.
And even though intimacy
is a fond memory without hope
of resurrection,
the hours-old memories
twisting in your body
won’t allow you to be believed
when you tell her you
got lost on the way home
from the midnight movie.








“Interior” by Edgar Degas, 1868-1869

She and Me

He doesn’t tell her
about me
he doesn’t want
to hurt her
so he hurts me
with that same
silence, which,
to him
seems like a favor
instead of a lie—
so she and me
are two pieces
of cake
before him
and he won’t
finish one
before he starts
on the other—
and I am just a mute
and unheroic
slice of vanilla
being consumed
and enjoyed
and reduced
to crumbs.


Painting by Thomas Benjamin Kennington, “Polishing the Brass” 1912


I want too much
after I thought
I’d convinced myself
to enjoy
he gives me
which is all he can give
because he’s giving
to her too
and why should I
want more
than his love
which he promised
is mine
even though
she gets his bed
and his time
and his considerate lies
to keep her heart
from breaking
the way mine
is breaking
I know
what she doesn’t know—
that neither of us
will ever have him






Your Name

I know one day
I’ll be buried
under these memories
instead of your body
draped so casually
over mine
because I’m running
out of excuses
for why I need
the entire Sunday
afternoon to do
what could be done
on any other day
in half the time—
and those lies I tell
are so flimsy
and weakened
by my love for you
that it’s just
a matter of time
before I’ll come clean
with a confession—
and your name will
be so heavy
down in my heart
I don’t know how
I’ll lift it into my voice
without breaking.






“The Lovers” by Rene Magritte, 1928

Telling the Truth

I believe him
when he says
I love you
in the mornings
and before
we go to sleep
in separate beds
in separate houses
because it feels true
and warm and holy
and because
I want to believe
everything else
he tells me too—
but there’s
someone else
who shares his bed
and she believes
that she’s the only one
who has his heart,
which sometimes
makes me wonder
if he hasn’t told her
the truth
because he isn’t sure
exactly what it is—
or how many varieties
and variations of love
it’s possible
to live with
before one of them
begins to feel
like a lie.








Ask Me Anything (for d.b.)

That’s what you say
when you know
who you’re talking to—
when you expect
the expected and are
prepared to lie—
and clever enough
to keep it interesting.
Or maybe I’m wrong
about you.
Maybe you’re the one
who can speak honestly
after you offer
such an invitation,
even if the question is—
“Would you show me
all your scars?”


DeMaris Gaunt



Lies We Tell

Lies We Tell

Believe me…

I never lied through my teeth

except about your chili.

“Delicious,” I said, comparing it silently

to something served to the starving

in another world—

a small improvement over cold beans or rice.


And I wasn’t high on life

like I said I was when I came home

from the party smelling like incense

smiling as wide as a field of orange poppies

in Afghanistan.


Believe me…


I’ve never told a lie

that wasn’t first a courtesy,

like oil for a back door prone to squeak

in the middle of the night.


And let me be completely honest

this time—


I may not want you to answer with your truth

if it would hurt or change

the way I love you.


I’d rather believe that seeing her again

in the coffee shop

wasn’t the reason for your pause—

that it was the choice you were making

between the French roast and the Columbian

that slowed you down,

caught your tongue when you said,

“This shouldn’t be so hard.”


DeMaris Gaunt