Three Poems by Darren C. Demaree

Emily as I Consider the Explanation

I have been accused
by Emily
of selling her

as a freshwater woman
while she has forever
considered herself

an ocean of sorts.
I suppose
I just needed

to explain
away why I lap
her tide. Too much

salt can kill you.
I don’t want
to be judged for this.

Emily as the Warm Front Scatters

It’s not enough
to challenge the seasons
while I strip Ohio

of our current book
of rules. I must save
the blueberries

from the muffins
as well. I must prove
that Emily can be

the whole landscape.
Maybe then, I can
become the storm.

Emily as an Inscription that Belies Potential Equivalencies

Emily still drinks gin
when she wears her battle

She drops
an earring
down the heating grate

& I know
tonight I’m getting
a new tattoo

on a different rib
in her stilted scrawl.
I always end up paying

more for the ink
when all the stores
should be closed.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of fourteen poetry collections, most recently Unfinished Murder Ballads (October 2020, Backlash Press).  He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louis Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal.  He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.  He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.