Essay: On luck and beauty

Through the years I’ve received
those white envelopes of disappointment
in the mail: not our girl, not quite
enough, not this time, we wish you luck
in placing elsewhere
. And among the audience,
smug in the front row, the ones who’ve come
convinced there’s nothing that could impress.
They leave before evening’s end. They don’t
talk to you, they don’t on principle buy
that kind of book. Cats perched high
on windowsills lick their paws, also
oblivious to it all; or slink around
the alley with other cats. Fruit falls
to the sidewalk from the market bag
of the woman hurrying home before dark.
One or a few of the pears will later bear
a bruise. It’s likely those are the ones
they’ll wash and eat first. They’ll save
the clear-skinned beauties for last, just
for the way they look so perfect in a bowl.

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