You thought you had it when that song was learned,
The summer, tan, when you first lost your baby fat
And your limbs were lithe and your teeth were pretty but she is more beautiful than that.
You thought you had it when you married young
And jumped on jobs and connections like a cat
And put your claws in the suburb of pleasure but she is more beautiful than that.
You thought you had it when you went to college and got degrees and turned
Around one day and saw the shoes on the welcome mat
And he spoke confidently and loved you bravely but she is more beautiful than that.
You had an unhappy marriage even as the marriage song was sung.
The reasons you weren’t loved? Too much honor. Love sometimes looks like a rat.
Love is empathy—which is often an enemy of love. But she is more beautiful than that.
She is shy, and paints, and writes poems, and no tongue
But yours crosses into the tranquil valley with her this late.
She is more beautiful if the poem says what the poet sees.
Her smile? Her face? Her elegance? They collect their fees.
But her modesty doesn’t see what you see. She expects her fate.