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
the-not-quite
the-almost-love-of-your-life.
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
inconspicuous—
like there was never
a rip or a tear between you.

 

 

 

DeMaris
4-8-18

“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.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-10-17

“Lamia” by John William Waterhouse, 1905

 

Delicate

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.

 

 

DeMaris
2-6-17

 

 

 

Scar Tissue

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

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-30-17

 

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.

Amazing
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.

Somehow
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
6-17-13