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.


People on this train look like brutalized versions of people I know. A flame faced old Irishman is hard eyeing me from behind the fortress of his bones, his dense hands swollen together into a mass. He looks like he has been beaten every day of his life. Another man is curling into his middle-aged bullk, his widening face squatting behind a chin belonging in a Velasquez painting of the Hapsbourgs. That is not a compliment.

I will concentrate on smaller beauties: her intricate braid laying thick and black down her back; a trill of tulle peeping like a sparrow from a denim bodice; the thicket of blooming wisteria over an old brick wall; the rush of busy outside the coffee shop windows. Reach deeper in now, find the satisfying place in memory where lives the points of bone under the skin, the breadth of shoulders, the shape of air in the mouth, the man who asked me to kiss him then let me breathe him in.


Post a Comment

<< Home