Tag Archives: truth

Out Loud

Hearing myself speak
to a dear old friend
at the grocery store
about the one I loved
was a revelation—
and pulled out of me a few facts
I’d never heard out loud—
facts like:
I loved him because…
But this…
But that…
We didn’t…
We couldn’t…
and I watched pity
twist her face into a grimace
filled with an empathy
reserved for those
who should know better
than to put all one’s eggs
into one basket—
and because I had a dozen
in my cart as well as
frozen meatballs
and frozen fish,
I thought it best to part
before I let the truth
finish another sentence.
I said, He didn’t want me
to put my life on hold…
but the truth
was finished when the words
he didn’t want me
landed in my ears
and put a fresh sting
into my long dry eyes.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
5-1-18

“Two Women on the Hillside” by Franz Marc, 1906

 

Experiment

You,
my pretty love,
are an experiment—
you are a pillar
starting out perfect
and I am going
to carve you
with an honesty
so sharp
only diaries and priests
are accustomed
to such
clean cuts
such
unadulterated truths
and I can’t wait
to see if you’re
still standing
after you know
everything
I’ve ever needed
known
and if you might
become something
like a sculpture—
even more beautiful
when parts of you
are whittled
almost to the core—
polished by facts
that no one
is expected to share.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-4-17

 

 

 

Mirror

To prove
that I’m racist
my daughter
asks me
questions
like would you
rather adopt
a white child
or a black one
and I say
I’m not raising
any more kids
and she asks
if I’d feel
more comfortable
in a room
full
of white people
or black
and my answer
is wrong
true
complicated
and we sit
in silence
for a while
sipping coffee
thinking of
more questions
that no one
wants to answer
so she can get an A
on her paper
that’s going to
be a mirror
no one wants
to look into.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-31-17

Anger Management

I don’t
want to calm down
don’t want to cope
with this disappointment
this anger
that’s on me
in me
around me
for what feels like miles
and I don’t want
to walk out from under it
escape it
stop it
end it
push it back
no
it can stay as long as it likes
long enough for me
to hold it
examine it
study its origin
its source
the way it tightens
then loses its grip
and always disappears.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
9-14-18

Photo by Ansel Adams

Terms

We haven’t
exactly
agreed
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
connection
that causes
your desire
to lean
in my direction
or provoke
an honest
conversation
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.

DeMaris
5-28-17

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

Telling the Truth

I believe him
when he says
I love you
in the mornings
and before
we go to sleep
in separate beds
in separate houses
because it feels true
and warm and holy
and because
I want to believe
everything else
he tells me too—
but there’s
someone else
who shares his bed
and she believes
that she’s the only one
who has his heart,
which sometimes
makes me wonder
if he hasn’t told her
the truth
because he isn’t sure
exactly what it is—
or how many varieties
and variations of love
it’s possible
to live with
before one of them
begins to feel
like a lie.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
3-8-17