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If I'm Not Beautiful

If it's not beautiful,
Will you get any closer?
There is more back there if you look.
Take the door off the hinges
And watch the dust rise in funnels
As the wind rushes in.
There is matter in that dust,
In the stale air around put-away things.

If it's not beautiful,
Is there nothing to be see in it?
Climb to the top and, sweating and fearful,
Swing your head around.
You've never seen this Earth,
Because changing your perspective
Creates it anew.
Maybe that's where home was built.

If I'm not beautiful,
Can you find nothing to love?
I'll share all I have,
All I've collected across the miles,
In the hours and years and all ways of measure.
I suspect I'll be no less without it.
But if it seems that it's no use to you,
Will you leave it in the dirt?

If it's not beautiful,
If all you find is the oddness of texture,
The displeasing shape unsettling in its self-ness,
Its brazenly willful efforts to become more
Than the pieces that you recognize in it;
If all that is worthy is what you can place in its box,
Then I'm sorry for all the ugliness in your world.
It seems I've stolen all its beauty for mine.


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It takes only a streetlight
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the yawn of dark alleys,
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The Day My Brother Flew

The day my brother flew,
I prayed for the last time;
Asked for his acceptance,
A chance to say goodbye.
Stood inside the chapel,
Whispered through the motions,
Knowing in my chest
I did not believe.
Months gone from that day,
I stood inside a basement,
Staring out the window,
Chainlink in my eyes.
A host of white lights came,
Gathered right beside me,
Waited till I turned,
Slowly sank away.
I never told my folks.
They could not believe it.
I don't know what I saw,
If I’m lying to myself.
The day my brother flew,
I sat down on a stairstep,
Fingers in my hair,
Asking why I breathe.
He lived and enjoyed life.
I don’t even like it.
That was '91;
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This Is How They Talk

There's another part, always,
that doesn't want to go,
a shape more practiced
than my humble sincerities,
my tilted resolutions.

I forget to relax my knees,
That I should soften my jaw,
take lessons from the glass,
from the sidelong blurs,
and oblong silhouettes;

take in the everyday words
That clatter around my body.
I should brush against these threads,
learn their girth and texture.

This is how they move,
in great thrusts, driven
by asteroids and thunder.

This is how they talk,
in echos and gasps,
looking right at you.