if something is beautiful, poem by Mark Hartenbach

if some­thing is beau­ti­ful
it doesn’t have to say any­thing. it doesn’t have to mat­ter.
it doesn’t have to work it. it doesn’t have to fit in or be
sur­round­ed by com­pli­men­ta­ry esthet­ics. if some­thing
is beau­ti­ful the steam ris­es off its flesh & i love the way
it wets my unshaved face. it tastes like straw­ber­ries
& har­vest­ed smoke. if some­thing is beau­ti­ful i’m com­plete­ly
unaware of the pas­sage of time. it nev­er los­es me with
demands or tears or poet­ry that won’t stop run­ning
down the page & black­ens my fin­gers. if some­thing is
beau­ti­ful a mourn­ful hymn sounds like a long drawn out
ecsta­t­ic moan. if some­thing is beau­ti­ful every inch is
absolute­ly essen­tial. if some­thing is beau­ti­ful i slip my
tongue in 360 degrees clock­wise & coun­ter­clock­wise,
& i listen—i don’t say a damned word.

hartenbachmark hartenbach's lat­est book is "sad lul­la­bies from plan­et appalachia."

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