Beauty

I used to think beauty was the image of the swimsuit model

I pinned on my bedroom wall, opposite the bed

so, it was the first thing I saw when I woke

and the last thing I saw when I went to sleep.

Someday you’ll have it, I told my 10-year-old self,

as if somehow being sure about that would mean

beauty would someday come down out of its poster

and lay with me simply because I wanted it bad enough,

and stayed loyal to that want.

Then one day I got exactly what I wanted,

though I had to buy it lunch and walk around town for hours

asking it questions first.

Having beauty took too much work and cost too much integrity.

That was when my idea of having beauty started to become ugly.

Meanwhile in the dark, I’d sometimes wish I didn’t want beauty

to begin with.

Beauty, I learned, could reject me, could be cruel and petty,

and quite repulsive sometimes, not unlike me

in my relentless objectification of pretty much everything,

being a permanence-seeking human – yeah, you should admit it too –

It’s why now I could care less about finding beauty

outside myself, or having it, and am determined to

train my mind to understand it to be something I can never find

and only barely enact, that is, when I’m present and

compassionate enough to accept that.

Author: Chris Russell

Chris Russell holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Concord, New Hampshire where he follows two paths: a calling as a poet, and an altruistic vocation as an education support professional.