warthog warts - November 26, 2014s

author’s note:

“Look and look again.
  This world is not just a little thrill for the eyes.”
          — Mary Oliver


When by chance I saw my reflection…

the shock of the sudden sight
caused me to wonder

if I might be beautiful:

after all, beauty often shocks us.

So I examined myself more closely

and thus, began to notice warts—

more and more rosy-red warts.

This second shock repelled me
yet drew me in:

like beauty, the grotesque
seems so vibrant with life

and under a microscope
a blotch once seen as ugly
will appear quite lovely.

As a result,
when I again stepped back
my perception had altered:
I couldn’t separate the beautiful
from the grotesque—

I felt both confused
and enlightened:

I saw myself more fully
but could barely bear to look
at a blend so overwhelming.

Now, when I tell you
you’re beautiful
you may question
what I see in you…

I lack words to express
but please realize:
having drawn me in
your beauty has shocked
the superficiality out of me
again and again.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the book