Tag Archives: secrets


We haven’t
on what they are
since we began
in friendship
months ago
but it’s clear
that making love
(or maybe
it was just sex
to you)
isn’t going to be
the beautiful
that causes
your desire
to lean
in my direction
or provoke
an honest
with the woman
you claim
is too fragile
for the truth.
But I need
to believe
in your integrity—
that it can exist
even if
you aren’t ready
to sign
on anyone’s
dotted line—
so I’ll be
your other love
only if she knows
she’s not
the only one.


“Meridian Street, Thawing Weather,” 1887 by T.C. Steele


I want too much
after I thought
I’d convinced myself
to enjoy
he gives me
which is all he can give
because he’s giving
to her too
and why should I
want more
than his love
which he promised
is mine
even though
she gets his bed
and his time
and his considerate lies
to keep her heart
from breaking
the way mine
is breaking
I know
what she doesn’t know—
that neither of us
will ever have him







One of these days
everything about our lives
that is hidden and sacred
and beautiful
will be found out
and uncovered and exposed—
everything we’ve said
and felt and done together
will be discovered
and scrutinized and judged
to be bad and wrong
and immoral and depraved
and all we’ll have left
is the choice between
who we’ve made a life with
and who we love.






“Boulevard in Winter” Isaac Levitan, 1883

Day After

It seems right
to feel this high
and this happy
that yesterday
under the trees
I had him with me
in my arms
and on my lips—
and his hands
could feel
how much my body
loves him—
and for one glorious
hour everything else
in the world
even the fact
that we both
had to go home
to others
holding our new secret—
unsure how
the things we did
could possibly
be wrong.








If you wanted to
you could open up your chest
and let the truth spill onto the paper
like a pretty red valentine.
The penknife is in your hand
waiting for you to decide
whether to write or cut or carve your name
into someone else’s skin—
into his white and perfect innocence.
You know you should go back, retreat—
drop your weapons and throw up your arms.
You have no business
falling in love with the purest of hearts—
and you can almost hear him begging
to be spared your slow contamination.



The Unsaid

This is what writer’s block looks like:
A woman sitting in a chair,
still thinking of herself as a girl—
as someone with more tomorrow’s
than yesterday’s.

And because she doesn’t know if this is true,
there is an urgency to say it all.  Everything.
To shock herself by writing down
those things she wants known
but shouldn’t risk saying.

There are so many others she depends on
who might withdraw their respect
or their love if they knew
what she was capable of thinking.
And so she sits for a long time, considering.


DeMaris Gaunt

Vincent van Gogh


We don’t take them
like we used to
like we planned to
like we promised ourselves
we would when we were
young and brave
and much more beautiful
than we thought we were.
Risks were never quite
as life or death
as they are now in this
losable house that is paid for,
in this blue room
with darker blue curtains
which keep out the sun
and its daily promise
of bright happy endings.
I cannot write the letter
that I’ve meant to write
for twenty years
because I don’t know
what kind of audience
will be standing around
in the kitchen
when the mail is dumped
onto the table, or who might
follow you with curiosity
when you exit the room
holding the envelope
with both our names
handwritten on the front.
Wouldn’t I risk upsetting
your contentment
with an account of our love
and our losses?
I fear
it’s my own contentment
at risk if I find myself
waiting for a reply
that may never come.

DeMaris Gaunt