Tag Archives: life experience

A Public Place

A public place
is an unfortunate venue
to have the wind
knocked out of you—
to find yourself flattened
after your heart performs
the acrobatic shock and swell
of being caught off-guard
by your brush
with the-never-was
And he sees you
before you can locate
a restroom
or an emergency exit
so you make sure
the smile on your face
appears natural
and that the soul
you don’t believe you have
gives the impression
of being untortured
and maybe even lightweight—
and for the next 10 minutes
you’re on autopilot
watching his mouth move—
the one that kissed you
only once
because one of you
was already married—
and love is bad news
when it has nowhere to go
but into a private cage
now on display
for everyone to see—
and somehow it looks
like there was never
a rip or a tear between you.





“Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper, 1942

Visiting Hour

I’ll begin
by trying not to be myself
but someone confident
in what she’s about to do to you—
and if I am unable to convince you
that I know what I’m doing
I hope you’ll forgive the nerves
that cause my hands to shake
and that cause my mouth to smile
a little too much
when I’m supposed to feel sexy
instead of happy
when I travel from your lips
to your chest past your stomach
toward your magnificent heat—
be patient with me as though
I’ve never done this before
and pretend we have all day
to get it right
until we reach our bittersweet end—
and don’t worry, it will come.





“Lamia” by John William Waterhouse, 1905



I love the way he loved her—
the way he felt his heart clinch
with a little madness
when he neared her house
after driving for what  seemed
like all day—
his tenderness
must have been born in that flame,
that delicate wish
that couldn’t come true
because she was already invested
in another—
and he loved her enough to leave
her life undisturbed and pure
for a future that wouldn’t include him
or his affection or his warmth—
which I am so fortunate to feel now
radiating into me.







Epic Buffet, Hollywood Casino 


Lost my appetite
in the long line
for the Epic Buffet
because nothing I say
causes you to laugh
or smile or pull me
next to you
and you don’t even
want to discuss
the architecture
so brilliant and grand
because you are empty
inside and have been
all day and all year
and most of the life
I’ve shared with you
and if time away
from home, from the
tiresome routine
can’t fill you
with something like love
or at the very least
a temporary joy
then I will be hungry
for the rest of my life.







Scar Tissue

I must
have known
all along
we would
come to this—
that you’d
into solitude
which is where
I found you
on all those
where people go
to find
I should have
your freedom
as your joy—
that you were
in your
solitary state
and didn’t need
my love
to make you






Words, Recycled

Nothing new, really.
You’ve said them all before—
arranged and rearranged
until they sound just right
or mean almost what it is
you wish to say.

that something almost unique
can still be said—
that books continue to be written
which use all those words you know
to tell you something you didn’t.

it’s possible to hear them
as if for the first time
when someone says to you what they’ve said
for half a life to someone else:
“I love you”—
And it feels brand new.





DeMaris Gaunt