the truth of beauty

Look at you. You take my breath away.

You are a woman people stop in the street to wonder at- just at the sheer beauty of you. They almost seem startled to see you choose apples, answer your phone or look for change for the bus.

Up until then, I had not imagined beauty like yours. I wouldn’t dare. It would almost be a challenge to God. It’s frightening. A huge responsibility. Nobody really, has any business being so lovely. It devastates people. It destroys the faithful. It was already breaking into me.

I wanted to collapse. Curl into your lap. I wanted to melt and morph into your skin and become your body. I wanted to be among your eyelashes, or a blood vessel in your thigh, the mole on your neck. The breath you sighed with…

How could anybody confuse truth with beauty?

Truth came with sad sunken eyes, dark circles, bony and scarred, tired ripples of hanging body fat and grimy, bitten fingernails.

Truth meant tear-streaked cheeks, white down turned mouths. It’s breath was rancid with a relentless appetite for failure, it’s body packed with rejection. But beauty…

Beauty was as empty as a gourd; an oyster shell, vain as a cat. But it had power.

It smelled of wildflowers and citrus and made you close your eyes in a prayer for possession. To own, for just a few moments, some tiny fragment of paradise, and make it yours, forever.

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