Scarlet Wrath

The red of a cherry
and a bad boy’s knees,
the blood-shot eyes
of a three-day high,
and the hot blush
of shame are nothing
in the quick, cold
circumstances of life
next to the ironic prick
and the scarlet wrath
of a rose’s stem.

Beauty Rules

Always balanced, yet balancing still,
beauty’s virtues are equal to its vices.
Vague and invincible at its best,
mean and selfish at its worst,
beauty’s contradictions compel
a closer inspection—
A minor flaw is a beauty mark,
and perfection is a horror,
yet symmetry of flesh and bone,
remains the inherited human essence
of beauty’s bewildering nature.
Whether forged and faked,
painted and posed, or simple and true,
the power of beauty
is proportional to the private resonance
throbbing in the beholder.
It is privileged and imprisoned,
exalted and exhibited—
both a prize and a plague.
Yet with all its inversions and ironies
the experience of beauty is still
a promise—love’s apostrophe,
civilization’s endorsement,
the midwife of immortality—
breathtaking in all its implications.
It awakens in us
a sublimely uncivilized libido,
a wild beast hungry for news of beauty,
populating our dreams,
propelling our fantasies,
roiling love’s madness.
And so, indifferent to reason,
and blind to consequence, we shroud it
in a splendor of signs and symbols—
We make it our god and gladly let
the convulsive and hypnotic
agents of beauty rule our world.