Tag Archives: lost

Yesterday Morning

Floating downstream
in the middle of the river
I had you alone
to myself
and it felt like
we belonged there
as much as the turtles
and the great blue herons
startled into flight
by our strange wings
dipping into the water—
and it felt like calm
had finally arrived
to replace the doubt
that kept trying
to pull me under—
and for the first time
it seemed as though you
(who have never been lost)
might not be able
to find your way home
if we were parted
by the currents
and set adrift
in opposite directions.










The thing about
ending your own life—
or thinking about
what it would look like, sound like,
feel like—
is that you’ve consumed already
every crumb of sympathy
and empathy
and tolerance
from your loved ones,
and now their reserves
are bone dry—
and you’re to blame—
and what it boils down to
is that you want too much
so you end up
sitting alone in a dark room
in front of the computer screen
that offers you a watery blue glow
and a connection to absolutely
but no one in particular
would be alarmed
or interested in you
even if you sent out messages
that whispered
help me
I’m drowning…
And so the thing is—
you can’t do it.
You can’t become that brand
of public drama you despise.
But you want to.
You consider it.
You type it out.  Delete it.
You just want someone to notice
how deep you are, how only the tips
of your fingers are above the surface—
and every time
you scream for help
you take on a little more water.


The Great Escape

Some days
some moments—
(this day
this moment)
I am sober—
I am usually
so sober
I am
have imploded
for so long
I can’t make it
to that ledge—
to that edge
I know
is out there—
if only I could
climb back
to that ledge—
to that edge
I could peek over
and see
how far
I’ve managed
to crawl—
what progress
I have made—
it might make me
want to stay
right where I am
instead of
trying to escape
this room
with its
goddamn door
wide open.

DeMaris Gaunt

Photo Credit:
Allan Baxter

Otherwise (A 9-11 Poem)

It will never be as clear
as that black smoke
how much relief was born that day,
or in what form—
the beatings finally over,
the incurable sickness inoculated,
the dull shame of loving the wrong gender
forever buried
in the breakable steel.

You must believe that marriages
headed for ruin
were spared the public disgrace
and the private divisions—
the children blessed
to be left with nothing
to stand between them
and the happy lie of ignorance.

In addition to those who meant to kill,
there must have been a few
who survived safely on the other side of town
or in another state or country
who were inwardly pleased
to learn of a certain death—
a debt suddenly erased
or a secret vaporized
in the painless explosion of cells.

I like to think
that one of the named dead survived—
stumbled away—
the fathomable unfathomable event
having just provided an end
needed to begin again—
to step into the bright freedom
of anonymity
where it might be possible to experience
the longed for joy of unabusive love
and maybe bring into the world
at least one child who otherwise,
if the skies of that blue day
had been left undisturbed
would never have been born.


DeMaris Gaunt





Gone Again

If I wanted
I could fill a page
with language
as an exotic labyrinth
blooming with
and colors
so complimentary
it might pull
your attention away
from the one thing
I want to say—
so instead
I’ll speak to you
in words so sharp
and precise
it won’t even hurt
when they cut you:
I have never been lost,
my love—
even when
you were trying so hard
to find me.


DeMaris Gaunt


Things should be done
in order of importance
which means I should exit this room
and enter a state of reflection
before picking up the phone
to offer my condolences
on the death of a certain someone.
After that dreaded
and obligatory task
I should make a few more
phone calls that reinforce my love
to those too far away
to invite to dinner
or to drop in on unexpectedly
on a Sunday afternoon.
But things are never done
in the order of their importance
which is why I’ll just sit here a little longer
watching the sky darken
and descend into shadow
before I go to bed.
I want to cross something simple
off my list, which keeps getting longer
the longer I stare at this page.
The houseplants, for days,
have been thirsty.
They are still alive
and I watch them bow to my power.
The watering can is patient
in the mud sink.
There’s no reason in the world
I can’t fill the goddamn thing with water,
and restore the wilting leaves—
except that it reminds me
how easy it would have been
to make a phone call last week
to someone who will never again
be picking up the phone.

DeMaris Gaunt


To speak of suffering
is to speak of rainbows,
of spectrums,
of a thousand shades—
of infinite degrees of pain.
Yours began as blue
and curved into navy
before it went black.
Even the small bits of white
that gave us hope
dissolved into your dark abyss.
Your mind, your child—
your two brightest lights
could not eclipse the single
hollow circle of the noose—
thin as a sheet
and torn with your final
desperate wish.


DeMaris Gaunt