the ax came down
into the log
got stuck
wouldn’t budge
so I placed my ungloved hand
like a sacrifice
upon its plane
to steady the wood
while I wiggled the ax loose—
there was a slip
a shock
a split-second glimpse
of white bone
before the blood
turned everything red,
and the pain
hadn’t yet come
as I walked
toward the house I built
with these two hands
but once inside
the trobbing demanded
every unhurt cell in my body
appreciate the power
and impact
of one careless mistake—
the way no part of my being
would be able to relax.

And so it goes—

will mark one year
since I put a different pain
on the chopping block—
tried to sever a love
I wanted more than anything
else in the world
into two pieces
because I couldn’t have it whole.
I cut into it
divided it
made it bleed slowly out
by cutting up every heart
he loved—
and sitting in the dark
with this new pain
feels deserved
and I wish I could tell him
I dreamt about him
last night
and that his memory
still causes my heart to ache
hurt more
than this flesh wound—
and I would sacrifice this hand
if it meant I could hold his
one more time.


Helga’s Hands, Andrew Wyeth

Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

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