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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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So much more to learn,
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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;
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Of great wooden beasts
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And continuity.
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I don’t believe death will result
From the cessation of habits
That feed my blood,
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In a future nothingness
That I can’t see from here.