Emily As the Blurbs on the Back of a Popular Mystery Novel

Pitted against
the truth
or the reality

or other people
that happen
all the time

Emily is
a character
that readers

are invested in.
& quirkiness

& any version
of a female body,
she teems

with a life
from the creek-bed

& spit back
out onto
the streets.

Just wait until
the vivid scenes

matters worse
for the whodunit.
She did it.


Emily As We Do Whatever We Want To

Unaccompanied by our own finger-
prints, Emily
& I have imagined

the rest of the etcetera
to be a landscape for our own joy.
Are you a part of our joy?

Then you are landscape.
It’s a harsh reality, but we are not
good people when we’re together

without our children.
It’s a freedom
we cannot help but try, occasionally.


Emily As the Ohio River in 1953

Except for the future,
Emily is an absolute


Darren C. Demaree is the author of thirteen poetry collections, most recently So Clearly Beautiful, (November 2019, Adelaide Books). 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.