Tag Archives: urgency


I’m not sure if
is the right word—
maybe that’s too dramatic
for what it means
to wait
to wait
to wait
for my turn
to be relevant
and important enough
to have someone
who claims
to love me
when I need him—
and because I ask
for so little
it seems this
small request
could be fulfilled
without a fuss
and maybe even
with a sense of urgency
because time
isn’t on our side—
but it’s becoming clear
I am a convenience
instead of a need
I am a toy
instead of a treasure
and if he doesn’t come
I’ll know
how little I matter—
and desperate
will become the word
I must decide
to live with
or to leave.





Pep Talk

Sometimes it’s helpful
to imagine yourself
on your deathbed
or on a ship
sinking in the Pacific
hours away from shore—
or at the doctor’s office
reviewing test results
that feel like a life sentence—
short, abbreviated, abridged.
Today could be your last
and might as well be—
you are living as if
you have time to kill—
as if he does too—
that man you love so much
you’ve been seeing stars
when you close your eyes—
but you witnessed
a car wreck just last week
and you slid on the same
black ice that flipped
that minivan upside down
with a life inside
crashing into the reality
that it doesn’t matter
how much time
you think you have—
all you need to do is
stop the car, turn around
and drive back
to where you left him
in front of the fire—
tell him your love
is as solid as a brick wall
and you’d like to invite him
to drive into it.






Photograph by Bill Brandt, “Hallifax” 1937


You want to get to him
so you find yourself running
toward his arms
you see him
as the compliment
to every wish
you’ve already had
come true
but he doesn’t seem
to be moving
toward you
at quite the same speed
so you slow down
to realize
he is walking
without urgency
in your general direction
and you are suddenly
if he had any plan
to stop
once he got to you.







I am lost
in a ball of darkness
as my eyes close
and my arms pull
my legs to my breasts
and you are the absent
thing I am living without
and all I can do
is wish and imagine
you are in the universe
of my bedroom
taking off your clothes
with a kind of urgency
that is unmistakably
primal and pulsing
and we would last
as long as we could
with our hands exploring
and our lips pressing—
and after my mouth turned you
into the smoothest stone
I would open my eyes
to see yours
waiting for permission
to close
the intolerable gap.




Photo by Deanna Morae

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

Fan Mail (for Stephen Dunn)

I can only write this

because I know—

or at least I have reason

to assume—

you’ve been here

in a similar chair

in a similar darkness

which covers evening

with a kind of urgency

to speak in sentences

that can never be

mistaken for platitudes

or pleasantries—

I want to reduce

the enormous weight

of emotion

to a few words like

admiration and envy

and even love—

if you’ll permit such a word

to be used innocuously

and from a safe distance

and with the right amount

of reverence.

You have sliced me open

with words

and carved into my heart

a sculpture so solid

and centered—

not even my lover

can move it or lift it

or drop it and break it

as easily and effortlessly

as you.



DeMaris Gaunt