Tag Archives: secret love

An Understanding

We rode down together
in the elevator,
the housekeeper and I,
from the 22nd floor.
We are careful
not to catch each others eye
as she pulls her braids into a ponytail
and I pretend to look
for something in my purse,
and I find it as the elevator stops
at the 11th floor
and at the 4th
I almost tell her why I’m here
and why I’m not supposed to be.
I want to tell her I understand
the way she feels about
changing sheets for people
who are on paid vacations
or who are here on company business
that covers room service
and valet parking.
But I don’t tell her how wonderful it was
to sleep on those sheets
with a man
who asked me to come
who asked me to exit
into the hall only after it was clear
no one could see.

DeMaris

4-25-19

“Morning Sun” by Edward Hopper, 1952

She and Me

He doesn’t tell her
about me
because
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.

DeMaris
5-28-17

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

Spectator

I think of you
wandering alone
through the dense
clusters of bluebells
and wood poppies
to the place where
wildness takes over
and replaces your worry
with calm—
and you opened
that door for me once
and led me into
your private sanctuary
where everything
was in bloom
and seemed perfectly
untamed
and without taint
and I felt the excitement
of a tourist
getting a glimpse
of paradise so pure
my temporary presence
must have seemed to you
a small contamination.

 

 

 

DeMaris
4-17-17

Photograph

 

It feels like I’ve said
almost everything I can
about the way I love you—
the way it feels warm to have you
in the center of my heart—
and how happy I am to wake up
next to that smile of yours
even if it’s just a picture of us
together on our happiest day
being silly and reckless
somewhere in the middle of our lives
which were never
supposed to converge like this
in the middle of nowhere—
and when I took that photo
deep in the woods, my right arm
wrapped tightly around you,
I wasn’t thinking
about the past or the future—
or the ethics of our union.
I wasn’t thinking that one day
I’d need to explain
what I was doing there with you—
that no one else would see what I see
in that joyful photograph—
all the love, beauty, bravery
and restoration—
the depth of feeling
words are powerless to express
or deny.

 

 

 

DeMaris
3-6-17

 

Love, Declined

It truly didn’t matter
how happy we were
sitting on that fallen oak
covered with snow
talking about the things
we’d do come spring
or how perfectly content
you seemed
pinned to the tulip tree
which helped you stand
as I kissed you for the
thousandth time
with no way to know
it would be the last—
all our talks and laughter
and comfortable silences
weren’t right enough
for those words
you whispered in my ear
to mean what I thought
they would mean
when I wanted to know
if we could be more
than just a foolish wish
that wouldn’t come true.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-31-17

 
 

 

 

Waiting

I float into the night
anticipating
how you will feel
tomorrow
when there is nothing
between us
but warm water
and skin so lonely
we will need
to cover each other
with tenderness
to help ease
the exit wound
that will follow us home
after we pick up
our blankets
from the forest floor
and kiss goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-25-17

“Sun Shield” Andrew Wyeth, Watercolor 1982

Don’t Go

There was a song in you
that played against my ear
when we were pressed
for time and my arms
were unable to let you go—
the winter trees seemed
to whisper an apology
that they couldn’t hide us
a little bit better,
and even the woodpeckers
were considerate to pause
their racket long enough
for me to listen to the words
which sounded like
don’t go don’t go don’t go.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-23-17