Some people are beautiful
Only when they smile
Others seem loveliest
When wracked with sorrow
We all let down our guard, at some point
Show the thing we think is sacred.
When this happens some of us
Let you take what you want.
Others only let you borrow
I used to think
You had to be one or the other;
The one who looks at the camera
Or the one who turns away.
I don't know what I am
I refuse to inhabit a face
My smiles are subterfuge.
I look ridiculous when joyous
And wrecked when I cry
There are two rational responses to all this.
One is to say that everyone is always beautiful
But it takes a lifetime to know
Exactly where to look for it, and how
The other is to say beauty is a fiction,
That nothing is ever beautiful or ugly,
That the so-called beautiful things you see
Are just the times when everything false
Falls away and a certain glance
Captured at a certain time of day
Becomes a tremulous dewdrop
Hanging from a bent
Blade of grass,
Just before it falls.