jolie laide

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


The train is crowded this morning but this song makes me smile, makes me close my eyelids to trap bliss inside my head. When I open my eyes I see a little girl in a pink coat doing everything she can to engage her delighted father, touching his nose, then her own, putting her head in his lap, then sitting bolt upright, smiling, smiling, love me, adore me.
I dreamed last night I was being examined for signs of aging. Someone was holding my chin, turning my face from side to side, sighting down my jawline for decrepitude and debauchery. I knew he would find none and I am restless and irritated at the unnecessary incursion. I want to wipe this memory from my head so I run up the subway stairs two at a time, burst into the blue at the top of the dark passageway.
Today it is warm and the sun is so brilliant I grin just to feel it hit my teeth. I spin the wheel on the machine to bring up a song that makes me feel so here, so right now, so joyous, this stretch of sidewalk gets worked over in my head like it's a runway. I stride loose and fast and my coat flies open and flattens itself against my shoulders and yes I will accept you as you are because here I am and we are beautiful here right now on this filthy sidewalk in this winter light in this cracked existence.


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