By Heike Anan
Artwork by Julia Sorensen
Is it too late for beauty?
Stared the question in longing unprofessed
Perplexed by how easy it is to lose
Ocean liners, socks, calendars, tools
Easy to define and to use, but beauty?
Made not to fulfill, but to be the wish?
Is it conserved? Is its fate to fall apart?
If you should ask the dried decaying stalk
Of winter’s sunflower, “Was something lost?”
And spring came the reply
Or if you meet face to branch with a fir
Weighed down by a torched frost and water
Droplets anoint the cheeks of seer and seen
Is something unaccounted for?
Or if you turn to look up
As beauty falls into rhythms
That foam on the sidewalk
And a girl approaches
Heavy with ancient steps
The train of her velvet dress
Cutting across March snow
And if she recedes
And takes her seat with a sign
Under the arch of an entrance
Dividing the scene
Her head wilting in the snow
As she repeats, “Please, please,
Can you spare one minute of your tears?”
And if that moment slashes the veil
From the face of an earthy love
Unrivaled in lost purpose
As only purpose could be
Then on this day like today
Will you leave love lie
Lost or burst ecstatic?