LE CHAUDRON INFERNALE
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Shattered barrier a mile
and a half back, road now
little more than weed-
encrusted dirt. Shift
the eyepatch, clear blood
from the gearshift. The quarry
must be close. Time to stop,
kill the engine, put boots
on the ground. Spoor
is ephemeral, more so
in this rain. The night vision
goggles fit just right over
your hijab; pursuit begins.
POEM FOR KATIE, QUEEN OF OHIO #37
I don’t know
you will lift
all of us.
POEM FOR KATIE, QUEEN OF OHIO #38
You are one
to me. Hinge
the sign so
that the rest
of the shadow
can see you
POEM FOR KATIE, QUEEN OF OHIO #39
Lullaby, so broken
& full of the pieces
that could not be
lost, I am desperate
to have you here
amidst the mixture
as it presses
against the mixture.
The heat is coming.
You are the heat.
You could end
these small endings.
Find Darren C. Demaree online.
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Love or Some Other Implement of Exfoliation
“Things have to keep breaking until they’re whole.” –Constance Plumley, “La Nuit”
The thing about the bombing of Dresden
was all the china. An entire industry
reduced to dust in the space
of a few hours.
When you showed
me your heart, Constance, I saw
a street, filled with rubble, blue-
flecked pieces scattered between,
and I asked you if you’d let me be
the jeweler with pots of glue
and molten gold. Days spent
with loupe attached to glasses,
a harvest of shards deposited
in a burlap sack,
then nights spent
at the jigsaw table, piece after piece
rotated, rearranged, until one demitasse
cup approached completion.
my arm and begged “don’t leave me”
again and again; I told you
our work had just begun. An entire
profession remains to be reassembled.
This is the work we do, and from it
we shall emerge, not new, not pristine,
but stronger, a semblance of what we
were before. Imperfect but together.
1The title is a line from Tim Staley’s “Duet”.
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Brutal Truths and Lying Light
You can peel off your scars
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like so many old and dirty
band-aids. Pain makes a great
affectation, don’t you think?
The writers want you to reveal
your third nipple in the season
finale. Give them an expensive thrill.
Make no mistake, this is a game
of ratings and dogs’ breath.
Take another swig of condensed
Windex, another bite
of urinal cake. Breath is freshest
when it’s blue. Nice to see you.