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A Manifesto On Beautiful

It occurs to me that everyone is beautiful,
these weight lifters
with their oversized arms,
these dancers with their self conscious legs,
the big woman at the treadmill, who is afraid she is not beautiful,
as afraid as the dancers that they are not beautiful,
as afraid as the weight lifters
that they are not beautiful. I see them
in the mirrors, passing by,
holding their thighs in, holding
their chests out,
holding magazines that say Elle and Him
and Fit and Self and Gaitor Aid.

But in the nodding mornings, when their lovers toss
the smooth covers away, they each in their disarray
shine like perfect gems.
And their lovers- soft, modest,
old, young, fit, fat, gregarious, bony,
sensual, slovenly, neat, their lovers
can only think of how exactly right
each line, each curve, each arc of bone or muscle,
each pulse swimming in each vein,
each sigh, each mumbled dream, how it is all
exactly what they wanted. Each lover
turns toward the workday so full of longing,
so drawn back the tousled bed where they can still reach
to the epicenter of the beautiful, of what they love,
the imperfect holy, of all of us.

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