Tag Archives: love poems

Our Mothers

Everything they told us was wrong.
Smile.
Hold your stomach in.
Nod your head.
Agree.
Respect yourself, they said —
by saying no.
By giving boys nothing but a smile
until they offered us
a finite circle made of gold.
They only want one thing, they told us.
And we believed
that the one thing they wanted
was somehow different
than the one thing we wanted too.
And because trust is involuntary
according to evolution,
we believed our mothers—
believed we were wrong
for wanting to sample
as many fruits as we could
before we agreed that only one
could possibly taste better
than all the rest—
for what was left
of our desirous and insatiable lives.

DeMaris
1-12-19

“Reine Lefebre and Margot before a Window” by Mary Cassat, 1902

Wholesome Life

I take a deep breath
reach for the phone
to type words
to beg
to explain
to express
to ask questions
I don’t have a right to ask
I put the phone down
leave the message in my head
where it belongs
I don’t explain
my reasons
my silence
my inability
to keep untangling
your tight-knit
wholesome life
the one I make you forget
the one you always
return to…

No One Is Going To Die

You are friendless
on a night
it would be helpful
to have someone intervene
and interrupt your sorrow
and take away the bottle
that is almost as empty
as your heart—
so all you can do
is pretend you see a light
at the end of this dark tunnel
where he waits for you
shining—
the man who could erase
your tears just by existing
a little closer
to where you are

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-31-18

Comfort Animal

Mine is timid
around strangers
and is known to bite
if he feels cornered—
sometimes I believe
he feels threatened
by the cage he imagines
I must have hidden
in one of my many rooms.
He lives for long walks
in the woods
where he can stop
whenever he needs to pee,
or has a wish to investigate
the marvelous array
of wildflowers—
and his endurance
is more than
(or at least equal to) mine,
and I can take him
almost anywhere
without worry he’ll run off
and never return—
his loyalty is a mix
of curiosity and restraint—
but I think his devotion
has something to do
with the way I scratch his ears
and rub his belly
and let him sleep in my bed—
but I suspect
he’s always ready to bolt
if I lean in too close
or hug him
a little too tight.

DeMaris
3-29-18

“Master Bedroom” by Andrew Wyeth, 1965

Filter

The filter is on
and love is squirming
twisting
trying to say
what it feels
like it needs to say
but I am the gatekeeper
who decides
how much
should be revealed
and I have one finger
on the trigger
one foot on the gas
another finger
over the barrel
and one heel
about to catch fire
from all this friction
all this dragging
all this restraint
that is supposed
to save me
from embarrassment
and the sudden
doe-eyed expression
on my face
that contains
every truth I can
never say.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-2-17

Painting by Vilhelm Hammershoi, public domain

Blood Loss

Please, heart,
stay where you are—
safe in the pocket of air
that surrounds you,
keeps you protected
from the blows
that are small enough
not to break you
but still bruise.

Please, heart,
listen this time—
remember the way it hurt
to beat for love
that was only half
fulfilled, half empty
every time
you pressed against
a foreign rhythm.

Please, heart,
don’t make this mistake—
don’t open your doors
for love
and settle for pleasure
when you know
how much it costs
to come so close
and still bleed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
11-28-17

Shape of Love

He cracked
the oval eggs
into the round
frying pan
and I folded
his t-shirts
into perfect squares
and we sat close
on the
rectangular couch
with his arm
circling my shoulders
and my hand
wedged
between his thighs
which is the picture
of nothing
special
nothing extraordinary
except
that it felt
exactly how love
should feel
which is happy
and whole.

 

 

 

DeMaris
11-21-17