In the Beauty of the World

On a canyon road
among the piñon pines
we slowed to pass a cow just hit.
She lay on the shoulder,
the globe of her one eye swallowing wild.
Don’t look, Bella, said my mum,
but the massive tongue,
lopsided, licking road,
and the schoolless night,
still warm with crickets,
said look look look.

That isn’t to say, I know,
there is necessarily
beauty in the dimming light:
the sun sets equally on the fetid swamp
and the flatirons
and there is always dumb calm
in letting go
of pushcarts, or people, or hope.

But if the world is our oyster,
wear the pearl — please,
but eat the oyster too,
that too,
because what is it to love
if you cannot love it raw?
and like Rubens,
that fat intensity,
adore Helena for all her farts
and dimpled knees.

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