Poem 88

For B…
this is probably too personal to be a poem… but it sure looks like one…

the funny thing about beauty is
I didn’t much feel beautiful before I met you
muddled skin and scars. not the metaphorical kind, the simple kind…
the growing scars.
I was a fish hinge-jawed perusing a grey-green hook…
Convinced myself to write out every line,
like it were more real with words stapled sideways–carelessly limiting what it all means–
what does it MEAN! where does the middle become the new standard for happiness…

the funny thing about beauty and happiness is
i never was happy enough to feel beautiful before I met you.
not in a sad way, just a textbook way… happiness is black and white but i’m translucent.
and when i stopped trying to smile, i found my jaw was stiff
a portrait is a poor substitute for a face.
my face. in your hands. keeping track of every inch between us…
like counting crows feet, I am more interested in what happens when i decide upon a number…
are they like tree rings? is this how many times you’ve made me smile?
do we get to turn them into poetry? is a wrinkle the best kind of scar…
the eventual kind.

I wanted to tell you today, in the cafe, that i’ve stopped wearing purple mascara
on purpose. because you thought my eyes were green anyway…
because when i stopped trying to make them green, they were that way on their own.
like when i stopped trying to be thin, or smart, or desired…
like when i wrote across the sand the many wishes i had for the sea to take away.
little did i know the desert is made of sand most of all…
and water is made of bubbles,
and the sun brings out everything beautiful there,
the things the shade covets, hoards.
the sun.

And of course you know in spanish smile is sonrisa… 
and if i went through every language, trying to stumble on a more beautiful
word for smile i would end up with your name…
you can’t make these things up… not with the best intended words.
and if i wrote this all ahead of time, like it so often seems,
i might have been more romantic about how happiness translates to beauty…
more beautiful than the truth….
but what is more beautiful than sending a seed into the air and knowing it will grow anyway…

because the air is made of ambition
like the soil is made of memories,
and the sea is made of silence…
but silence fills the spaces we type upon, the network, the globe…
all silent, and stiff
save for the one whispering after-thought
maybe it’s beauty, pulling people together by accident…

or fate.


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