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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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When I See It

I don’t believe in time.
There's much more world left;
So much more to learn,
And I don’t believe in time.
I believe in shadow birds flying
Through the green of mown grass
Under the squint-bright sun;
An ocean dappled with clouds
And the white sails of small boats
Crossing my shoulder;
A thousand dynamic blooms
That I can’t name, speaking
With voices of children
And laughing as they pass;
The reassuring chatter
Of great wooden beasts
That sermonize patience
And continuity.
But I don’t believe in time
Or the limits it implies.
I don’t believe in the failure
Of the manifest soul.
I don’t believe death will result
From the cessation of habits
That feed my blood,
Because I won't believe
In a future nothingness
That I can’t see from here.

Dawn in an Hour

Dawn is in an hour;
in a night.
A light on the long street
on the grey river,
on a long walk of broken clays.
It takes only a streetlight
to bare the sighs,
the yawn of dark alleys,
of quiet honesty;
the great peace
of telling without cause,
without want.
The arm stretches
and guides the body;
the body doubles its warmth.
Laughter snaps
against brick and glass,
and the eyes combine;
heart combines with heart.
And dawn is in the hour,
in the night.


I think, sometimes,
that I can do anything,
but that can change on the way
to the elevator.

I prepare for outside.
Rain makes it easier,
bends my eye to the ground,
to the architecture;
turns everything to gold.
The new gravity holds me,
turns the voices into hums,
the walkers into clouds.

But outside my door,
there are voices already,
breaking through planks of wood
that should mean security,
and I’m in their path;
every word an arrow
tipped with poison.

They’re only voices.
They are not harsh;
they do not threaten.
They’re not aimed at me
at all. Yet I suspect,
hidden from me,
there are faces attached.