Tag Archives: reduced

She and Me

He doesn’t tell her
about me
he doesn’t want
to hurt her
so he hurts me
with that same
silence, which,
to him
seems like a favor
instead of a lie—
so she and me
are two pieces
of cake
before him
and he won’t
finish one
before he starts
on the other—
and I am just a mute
and unheroic
slice of vanilla
being consumed
and enjoyed
and reduced
to crumbs.


Painting by Thomas Benjamin Kennington, “Polishing the Brass” 1912


The editor wanted it short:

a bio between 50 and 75 words—

my irreducible life

reduced to a footnote,

a sound bite—

key words required to tread water

with “the’s” and “is’s” and “she’s”—

those words which are like grout

between the shiny tiles of the mosaic.

What’s my most impressive

fingerprint of words?

Could just one say as many as 75?

I’m tempted to say it can—

and that it suits me best: Tempted.


DeMaris Gaunt



(The poem, without the title, is exactly 75 words.)