Tag Archives: pain


I’m not sure if
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
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.





Exit Strategy

You need one
even if you think
you’ll never use it —
go ahead and plan your escape
while you’re still in love
and still think
maybe it will all work out okay—
that he’ll begin to see you
the way you see him—
with a power to illuminate
like a candle in the middle
of a midnight room,
making even the darkest spaces
with the soft light of hope—
but you know how quickly
a fire can start
and get out of control
if even the gentlest wind
blows a corner of the curtain
into the hot yellow wick—
so you need to listen
for that intuitive alarm
inside your smoldering heart
which will go off
when you’re close
to getting burned—
and it will sound like the wail
of a fire truck off in the distance
except it will be you, crying,
as you make your way
to one of your
designated exits
which might be the bathroom
or the basement—
but don’t expect a rescue.
You’ll need to save yourself
this time
or your whole heart
will go up in flames.







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







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

Hypothetical Emergency

Turn around.
Go back.
Rewind the tape
and edit everything
you said to make it
sound just right.
It’s what you’d do
if you didn’t have
so many other
things you needed
to accomplish—
like going to sleep
and waking up or
taking a long hot bath
or finishing off
the strawberry
ice cream
that you almost
forgot was in the
buried under
the box of frozen
eggrolls and the 10lb.
pork loin that could
send you to the ER
if it slid out and
crushed your big toe—
and the cheerful
young nurse
would stitch you up
while the doctor wrote
you an unrefillable
for the pain—
as if they’d taken care
of your most critical

DeMaris Gaunt

Small Suffering

Small suffering

is for the page only—

for this white rectangle

flecked with black letters

that spell out the complaints

of the lucky,

the fortunate,

the fed,

the ones like me who know

that no voice should ever

carry the sound of our tiny


which are, compared

to the real pain of others—

nothing more

than a water stain

which will evaporate, dry,

and tomorrow,

barely exist.




DeMaris Gaunt


So Little

What I want is to yell.
I don’t want to lower my voice
like a life boat
into the angry sea.

I want to throw things
and I want them to break
into many useless pieces-
and I want to empty the glue
into the trash.

I don’t want you
to hear me again.

I want you to understand
for the very first time
that I ask so little of you
it’s obscene that you want to give


DeMaris Gaunt, 9-17-14