i told my daughter the dark gets cold but that doesn’t mean you have to pull the eyes out of the dead fish you’ve been given it doesn’t mean you have to eat the fish it just means that you and the fish have both existed in a time that held little warmth and that time will change as all times change and i hope you never forget what it felt like to have your hand hover over death’s reminder that you are more than any pale gesture the world chooses to make

Darren C. Demaree’s poems appear in numerous journals including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, and Diagram. He is the author of six poetry collections, most recently, “Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly” (2016, 8th House Publishing). He is Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.