My friend S wrote a lovely little poem the other day and I found it particularly inspiring, so I’m posting it here for all to see (with her permission, of course.)
She calls it “Being Seen All the Time”…
Her mirror is from the interrogation room
where they questioned Cain.
Her calipers, last used by the Masons
who threw over God for architecture.
The red pencil is from Office Depot.
It feels insecure about its ostensibly dull life story
and so avoids the mirror
and the calipers
at cocktail parties.
All of this looking
is about asking a big question.
She wouldn’t tell you what it is,
even if she could.
She tilts her head and furrows her brows,
sleek black wings of gulls in a photo negative.
Meanwhile, the world looks, with more mundane purposes:
The sharpener who fell in hopeless love
watching her cross the street
does portraits of her on the edge of
every knife blade.
The racetrack called: They’d like her to return
as soon as possible the elegant lope
of racehorse legs.
Paris leaves golden apples
in plain brown paper bags,
anonymously, on her doorstep.
(Helen of Troy is pissed.)
Her agent called with two voiceover gigs:
a marshmallow Peep and a five-alarm fire.
Lightning is so jealous of her style
that it smashes sand together
to fuse wicked gossip about her
in forked bits of glass.
In a few seconds
she will put down the calipers and pencil.
She will sharpen all knives with a glance.
She will teach the horses about the mysteries
of restrained grace. She will make a pie
from Paris’ apples and feed it to silly anorexic Helen,
who hasn’t eaten in years. She will laugh
like an inferno of marshmallow chicks.
It takes her three seconds of laughing
to break centuries of glass.
-Lo, who thinks S is the SHIT!