Some turn away from raw as a matter of principle– “pretty” being thought the only righteous attraction.
Even when rawness covers our hands and we feel its lure
as we crawl through,
there is “pretty” turning for us, inside its many circles.
Some say “beautiful” instead, to keep their eyes open, like it’s better. Or refined.
So do I.
But “beautiful” is “pretty” tied with a bigger bow, heavy
like a chain,
anchoring it to raw
where truth abides
and we call it what we want,
demanding lipstick and muscle and Speedstick and Chanel Number Five along the way,
as if they were medicine.
Our paths cross sometimes on the crawl back, but we rarely speak,
our heads down through the raw and what makes raw,
making our way to the lights teasing in the corners.
Sometimes my eyes look up at you, focusing unsteadily from my streaked face,
to acknowledge your beauty
as we pass.
Call it what you will.
I’ve been listening to “Joy” — sometimes Lucinda Williams helps.