Tag Archives: trust

Our Mothers

Everything they told us was wrong.
Hold your stomach in.
Nod your head.
Respect yourself, they said —
by saying no.
By giving boys nothing but a smile
until they offered us
a finite circle made of gold.
They only want one thing, they told us.
And we believed
that the one thing they wanted
was somehow different
than the one thing we wanted too.
And because trust is involuntary
according to evolution,
we believed our mothers—
believed we were wrong
for wanting to sample
as many fruits as we could
before we agreed that only one
could possibly taste better
than all the rest—
for what was left
of our desirous and insatiable lives.


“Reine Lefebre and Margot before a Window” by Mary Cassat, 1902

Now You Know

No one knew.
For years no one knew
what we had done—
what violations lay dormant
waiting to be discovered
and judged.
And because it happened so fast
without time to consider
anything but the moment,
it seems unfair
that we be given no credit
for the will it took
to put an end to things—
to those wonderful pleasures
which were somehow wrong.
And I speak of it now
not because of guilt
but because what we shared
in that beautiful dark
still shines.


DeMaris Gaunt


On the long hike
you daydream
about what you’ll say
if you’re ever found out—
if your late night
conversations go unerased,
lingering like ripened fruit
in your online garden
of temptation.
Your first bite
wasn’t sweet or bitter
but it was new, strange—
an explosion of taste
you couldn’t help but crave.
Would it matter
to your lover
that you struggled at first?
That you ignored the
fresh scent of his flowers?
Are you still guilty
if you didn’t fall in love—
if you only wanted
to follow his beauty
into another landscape
for a while?
What if you did fall in love?
Your defense
would be the same.
You would have come back,
you promise.
You promise
you were on your way back.

DeMaris Gaunt


You are apple pie
sitting before me
with a scoop
of ice cream
and a dollop
of Cool Whip on top.
Your voice is music
that lures me
to the edge of risks
I must not take.
change my mind
by leaving it alone.
Change its course
by saying something
and trite.
Offer your sweetness
to another who
can sing the same
kind of song
and get lost in words
that might turn
my perfect ocean
into salt.


DeMaris Gaunt


To say that nothing happened
is true—if by nothing you mean
laying down naked
or kissing or holding hands.
We didn’t lay down naked
or kiss or hold hands—
but what about the walk we took
around the lake
not far from the party?
The dirt trail was shadowed with pines,
tall and indifferent to the way
our eyes fell into shyness as we spoke.
So no.  Nothing happened
that would be a betrayal
or a crime against your trust
even though we briefly touched
when he helped me cross a log
that bridged a glasswater creek
so we could examine the full moon
from a treeless clearing.
But we did feel the razor wire
of restraint as we stood, shivering
and silent in the field of possibilities
where he didn’t put his lips to mine
even though I fear I might have let him
if he hadn’t reminded me
with sensible regret
that we both have breakable hearts
waiting back home—
trusting that nothing would happen
even though we wanted it to.