An Open Letter to Beauty
The following tribute is a letter unleashed by a writing prompt. It feels freeing to let things off your chest, and along the way you might discover or remember something about yourself. Realizations that come from opening up can make letting go even more rewarding. Everyone is beautiful, whether they recognize it or not. Beauty, though a beast, is fragile. Not because it is easily destroyed, but because it can easily destroy us. To help counteract the odds that we will get burned at some point, wholeness and happiness is less about beauty, and much more about perspective.
I cradle you in my hands while lovers hold you in a daze. Like a shallow pool of water I splash you on my face and enjoy the shine, until it dries. Sweet beauty. I strive to preserve and protect you. You are not my child, I am not your mother. When I fail you I am the one who takes it hardest. I lose sight of myself and you are the first to go. Poured down the drain, purged into porcelain, or burned with old poems, I feel your jokes echo from the afterlife. My long, young legs once chased nighttime highs, and you, beauty. It takes looking back at dusty photographs to see you were there all along.
Daddy left when we were little, but not because of us. Maybe momma’s beauty wasn’t enough. I watched her fire grow into a spell that would have faded had he stayed. Time travels on the wind while storms, like all things, come and go. When I was fourteen I dyed my brown hair blonde and taught my best friend how to throw up food. I threw in the towel before even looking in the mirror. I don’t know if I would have seen something worth loving, but I know it was there. Glass shapes the metaphor of an easily shattered reflection we cannot see, unless we cut it out ourselves. I don’t act that way anymore. You, beauty, act enough for the both of us, and I know you are not worth it.
Appearing when least expected, gone when longed for the most. Beauty, the ultimate magician. You are not a burden. If you were, I would have you. The lines on my face are drawn by smiling.
Dear, sweet beauty. On our best days, we laugh together.