Tag Archives: sex

Scaffolding

I was 12 years old
when Ryan Akers
approached me in the arcade
while I played Centipede.
I tried not to pay attention,
tried to act like I didn’t feel
anything unusual—
as if the new and unfamiliar wish
for him to touch me
was as benign
as anyone’s desire to hold a puppy.
And I don’t remember
a single word he and I exchanged
but I remember the shock
of seeing Lance kiss Amy
in the dark corridor
before we got picked up—
and the next morning in Sunday school
I watched Amy open a Dum-Dum
which she licked with a kind of pleasure
that made me certain
she wasn’t focused on the Book of Joshua
or its heroine, Rahab, the prostitute
who got exactly what she wanted.
Amy’s mind
was on the tip of Lance’s tongue—
and on the tip of mine
were words like sensual and erotic—
words that weren’t yet in my lexicon,
but their meaning was beginning
to take hold
on the scaffolding of my experience,
which wouldn’t include a kiss
from Ryan Akers—
but it was his anatomy
that first led my imagination
to cling to all the possible and varied
expressions of what I can now
identify as love.

 

 

 

DeMaris
3-18-18

Cropped area of “The Love Song” Norman Rockwell, 1926

No Right

A man
and a woman
have no right
to fall
to feel
to fantasize
about each other
or about a life
outside
their bedroom
even if the bed
they go home to
is empty
or on the floor
or otherwise
unoccupied
by heat
as long as
this man
and this woman
have somehow
committed
the most
Intimate
part
of themselves
to an incompatible
other
in the form
of a promise
that no one
wants to
keep.

 

 

 

DeMaris
11-10-17

Compass 

Mine
was plastic
orange
inexpensive
with a cord
to go
around
my neck
and it never
seemed
to make it
easier
to find
my way
when I
was lost
while yours
was internal
invisible
instinct
with a
built in
barometer
a feeling
in the air
a trust
you had
that the sun
could be
relied upon
to make
no errors
on its
course
so you
never worried
about
making
a wrong turn
or heading
in the wrong
direction
until
our paths
crossed
and now
we are
navigating
the dark
together
and I’m
hoping
you’ll feel
your heart
quiver
like the
needle
on a
compass rose
as it
gets closer
to mine
searching
for its
true north.

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-15-17

On the Floor

The man
admires the woman
who is puckered up
posing
in a tight black dress
slit up the thigh
standing at a flattering angle
in what appears to be
a bathroom so public
the trash can is overflowing–
but the man doesn’t care
about the brown
paper towels
and mascara stained tissues
on the floor
beside her 3 inch heel–
or that all of us can see her
insecurity
under that confident facade–
he is taken
by her red lips
and her youth
which makes him feel
she might
have a need for him
his wife no longer feels–
so he types
his approval
in just one word.
Wow.
No exclamation mark
to differentiate
his compliment
from his base desire
to crawl into that photo
and add her dress
to the pile on the floor.

DeMaris
9-7-17

Mushroom Cloud

The days
that separate us
are long
and large
and almost empty
compared
to the few days
here and there
when we
are together
talking
listening
laughing—
and your warmth
always finds me
envelops me
enters me
causes
a nuclear explosion
a mushroom
cloud of feeling
spreading
from my core
to my edges
and when you leave
I float down
with the fallout
in pieces
wishing
you’d want
to stay
long enough
to see what we
could look like
whole.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
9-6-17

 

Photo by Mark Mawson

No One Else

I feel
your
warm hand
over mine
on our way
to those places
either one of us
could go
with someone else
and we could
enjoy
the flowers
and the river
and the woods
with
another body
beside us
but
there isn’t
another
set of hands
that
could
elevate
my body
into
the clouds
after the sun
goes down.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-9-17

“The Lovers in the Poet’s Garden IV” by Vincent van Gogh, 1888

Wet

Something
will go wrong
again
after we fix
and affix
ourselves
to each other
like the oars
in our hands
pushing
propelling
gliding
forward
through
the waters
that carry us
cover us
wet our appetite
for more
nights spent
turning
each other
inside out
until we are
wet
washed
so clean
everything
we tried to hide
will be
shining
desperate
begging
to be accepted
if not
forgiven
or loved.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-8-17