Saturday Night Party Game

Couples, singles, friends—
an old house immersed
in soft music without voice.
It is the season of sweaters
of fires in fireplaces
of colorful wines in long-stemmed glasses
small squares of cheese on round crackers
that taste like you’re in fine company—
a group of respectable achievers you admire
for reaching the top with integrity
and the hard work of commitment.
You are one of them,
feeling the comfort of being among friends
about to embark on an adventure of truth
when the hostess produces a long slender box
containing narrow slips of paper
printed with questions—
and each guest, taking turns,
is instructed to close their eyes, draw,
read aloud the question
that will be answered by everyone, one at a time—
“If you had to eat just one food, what would it be?”
“What is the most important invention?”
“What talent do you wish you had?”
The questions are fun, benign, simple.
The answers are funny, predictable, safe.
Then it was your turn to draw a question—
and as you read the words out loud
you began to consider the lie
you would have to tell
because you couldn’t explain
to everyone in the room, that:
“If you could spend one hour with anyone in the world
who would it be?”
It would be ℎ𝑖𝑚, the one you cannot name,
the one you lost, the one you still love—
and so yours becomes the first
of likely many lies that will be given
in lieu of an honest answer to that question
in that living room
where everyone has lived long enough
to have something to hide.


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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