Poem 13

cycles
she thought she could be beautiful if only she could
decide what beauty was and was not
afraid of frostbit eyes how the
world wears white and the bodies grey
I’m asking you
for a straight answer maybe you’re afraid
so I can’t have one so be it… so be it
she knew she could decide beauty was
if only with pen and paper
water and pigment—oh—and a brush
but that would be limiting…
that would dry the colors to the leaves wouldn’t it
to paint them why can’t they be everything at once
isn’t that true beauty: potential
the potential to be everything at once
I want all the colors at once I once knew a girl
with an eye for beauty and a body stitched in pain,
discarding a canvas to mix the oils:
if only mixing was beauty enough—
like sex to beget the baby—forget the baby… the potential
of the baby or even the potential of the potential is
beauty enough to keep going don’t worry what reactions may decide keep going
I thought I could be beautiful by watching
those catastrophes I deemed worthy of emulating
when opening my eyes, dilating my own capacity to see
the colors I am blinded, don’t blame the tree
for promising winter with its descent of leaves
don’t fault the sunset for the following evening
trailing all perfection comes the rest…
all the rest resting until life exhales brightness again
                        consider black as nothing less valuable than
the potential for all hues close your eyes
            begin understanding beauty She. Is. Beautiful.
when she stopped imitating the retreating sun
or the swan-song autumn she is beautiful
when she tarried her quest for perfection falling free
to the wind as petals do mourn not
the loss of beauty my love
dress your hands arms and eyes
                        in black to relish this indecisive moment
this place of complacent perfection where
                        anything is possible and only hued
hubris decides.
–ECW
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