Darren C. Demaree


Emily as a Book of Endings

For Leslie Harrison

I chose Emily, because I knew
that if she chose me
I could prepare for death
in a way made my desperation
to keep living something tangible.
Now, with each child we have
I am cemented in the panic
of the living. Now, since she
keeps choosing me
every morning, I am able
to taunt mortality in a way
that will leave claw marks
in the fields of Ohio.
How glorious it will be
to be dragged from the living
& to scream one name, to spit
one name at my weakening
grip, to expect the strength
to return to me just like
the thousands of other times
I’ve used her name to live longer.

DARREN C. DEMAREE is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Two Towns Over, which was selected the winner of the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press. He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, 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.