As Art Springs from a Wound
There's no need to stay up, planning death,
or push away full plates.
No need for the other symptoms,
the familiar list,
because a pill dissolves them.
Then nothing's good or bad
but thinking makes it so,
and nothing's that bad when there's the will
to write a letter, even post it,
and begin another, asking a friend
what if salesmen -- of anything -- are right,
and, with them, cheerleaders,
the evangelists of tall hair,
the televised prophets of real estate?
What if all is bounty,
for the taking with a smile?
Then all art and craft
is happenstance and shining scar,
canopy over a ground of grief
that gives way, toppling statues,
symphonies, and poems.
All these years we could have been taking sun.
We should have have been making money.
But we didn't, and must count it loss.
Pale and broke, we settle for beauty.
I must have wires
instead of bones;
instead of flesh,
like clay pressed
on a sculptor's study
or the pressed resin
of action figures.
A cage of angles,
I turn with a jerk,
and part crowds.
A point extending
from a finger-tip
might draw blood;
another, from a shoulder,
could summon lightning.
from Settling for Beauty by J. D. Smith, a Cherry Groves Selection.