Tag Archives: loss

How it Ends

The photo of you
sitting in a field
of wildflowers
made you seem accessible—
and the picture
of your body
halfway into Mosquito Lake
seemed to indicate
you lived for adventure—
but the joy in your eyes
as you stood on Mt. Rainier
was in fact nontransferable
to life down below
where love waited its turn
for you to find it
as beautiful a destination
as the mangroves
in Costa Rica and now
the Redwoods are calling
and you are almost gone.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-26-17

 

Desperate

I’m not sure if
desperate
is the right word—
maybe that’s too dramatic
for what it means
to wait
to wait
to wait
for my turn
to be relevant
and important enough
to have someone
who claims
to love me
come
when I need him—
and because I ask
for so little
it seems this
small request
could be fulfilled
without a fuss
and maybe even
with a sense of urgency
because time
isn’t on our side—
but it’s becoming clear
I am a convenience
instead of a need
I am a toy
instead of a treasure
and if he doesn’t come
I’ll know
how little I matter—
and desperate
will become the word
I must decide
to live with
or to leave.

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-25-17

Sporobolus

He was just
a little bird
caged
in your love
for 13 years
by accident
because
he ended up
eating the
prairie dropseed
outside
your window
and you knew
he wouldn’t
last long
without
some kind of
domestication
from which
he must
have escaped
so you
lifted him
into your life
and
when he died
you felt
your feet
leave the ground
as if Sporobolus
was trying
to take you
with him
but you were
too heavy
for his wings
and you
crashed
onto the couch
in tears.

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-13-17

Lost Love Almanac, Entry #1

I don’t have a photograph
of my favorite memory with you—
you sitting at the kitchen table
with your reading glasses on
after you’d just read to me
a passage from your favorite book.
You look so content
with your eyes settled on the page—
and this snapshot is clearer to me
than any photograph of you
looking happy or silly or serious—
and I pretend in that moment
we both forgot that there was
a clock on the wall pointing out
it was time for me to get home.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris-
4-2-17

Just Below the Surface

In a parallel universe
or on a future day, perhaps,
I’d like to tell you how much
I’ve loved the ones
who came before you—
maybe sit down at the table
with the shoebox
full of love letters
you know nothing about
and rifle through my history
of loss that made our love
possible—
and I think it would be
kind of liberating
to hear your stories too
and invite our hearts
to be broken one more time
while I talk about Walter
and that wonderful winter
we spent in Duluth
and you could talk about Rose
and how you still
worry about her even though
she canceled the wedding
and moved back home to Israel—
and for just one afternoon
we wouldn’t have to pretend
that certain names never
float to the surface
of our memory
or that we wouldn’t love
to run into them again
while we were alone
in some cozy café
with nothing more urgent
than our wish
to hear where their life has gone
since that day we were
no longer part of it.

 

 

 

DeMaris Gaunt
11-27-15

Stupid Little Hearts

Our hearts
are just these ugly things
that beat inside our chests
unaware that they are
merely an engine
that powers the body
that encases them—
it’s the whole body
with its weight
and height and mass
that knows the spectrum
of life and love and loss—
and it isn’t the heart
that’s left empty
after love commits its ruin—
but the hands,
with nothing to do
but hold on to each other
for comfort and company
as they remember
their capacity to feel—
if it were only the hearts
that lay broken after love
takes its leave,
we would recover quickly
as though we had
a skinned knee,
or a sprained ankle at worst—
No—it’s the entire body
that breaks
around our stupid little hearts—
those mindless cogs
pounding like the fist
of a madman who never stops
when we want them to.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-14-17