darren c. demaree


I prefer to fist
the paper
back into pulp,

but that doesn’t mean
Emily’s holy island
of erotic puns

doesn’t offer
a reprieve
from the half-mile

of Tuesdays
I must live through
to feel the punchline

beneath my belt.
We love the drop.
We love the folds

of this world.
The garden is always


There are two families
of rabbits
that live beyond the chicken wire

we stapled to our split-rail
& our fence means nothing to them.
I feel the same about winter.

It means nothing to me.
I do appreciate a good snow ball;
however, when Emily tosses it

at my face, knowing
that if my face goes red
with the impact of her jovial

violence she will wipe
the rest of me red with her laugh.
Once I see rabbit tracks

in our back acre
I cannot control my own blood.
Marriage is weird in the best way.


It’s a terrible habit
of mine, to make Emily

out of perishables,
but I think stone

should stay stone.
Why would I allow

a fly to find
her visage

without taking a bit
of her away with it.

The tether always
gives up the art.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of sixteen poetry collections, most recently “a child walks in the dark," (Harbor Editions, November 2021). He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Best of the Net Anthology and the Managing Editor of Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.