Colors of Imperfection

How to wash a wall
clean escapes me. The stained
yellow frame
of life happened
has marked where the black

and white Flat Iron
Building photo hung
in elongation. Always a phallic
comment, but that’s not it. And
now I want to hang you—

your black, white, and gray
evocation of guitar and train—
your one fast move or I’m gone
tour memorabilia on that spot. But
you won’t fit. A black line

from the edge
of a chest of drawers,
a tiny crack
in the new frame
I’ve bought to hold you in.

A collection of flaws—not a god in sight.

Imperfect Beauty

Flawed, yes,
tragically so—
a quilt harboring one dropped stitch,
a chip embarrassing the Wedgewood china’s finish,
a cloud tarnishing the Algarve sky in July—

so flawed we strive in vain
to convince the trees,
the dune grass and wind working together
to whistle away our fear
of the bay’s seduction of the moon,
to convince every dastardly piece of dirt crumble
we trod upon

that we too are perfect beauty,
that our skin, our bones,
every dip, pucker, relief, and jut
of our faces is designed as such
not just so we will collide into
and detract from ourselves,
but because we fit within it
that is pretty
for its own sake.

But we are wrong,
forever beautifully wrong
because we are naked apes,
an atrocity to the birches,
to the green whips in the sand,
an aberration the moon responding to the bay unforgives
because we hold only the surface beauty
required to continue striving, procreating,
and striving again
against the tide.