If you came this way,/ Taking any route, starting from anywhere,/ At any time or at any season,/ It would always be the same: you have to put off/ Sense and notion. – T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”, Four Quartets
You are beautiful! An unlikely graffiti
on the park bench brushed on the seat
and the back slats must shoo parkers
away---a stalker nearby? A pedophile?
Why not a lonely chap who has no one
to say those words to? Why not a lad
too shy to blurt it out to that ingénue?
Why not a happy-feeling litterbug?
"You are beautiful " should go a long way
into making a homely jogger feel she
could use the stroking; no one would
run a hand over those spindly dry legs.
Why not the kindest guess about mad
men painting nice things in the dark?
---Albert B. Casuga