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he had the softest touch
a calm she could admire
even imitate for a time
but could never hope to reach

it saddened her to see, in this man
what she finally wanted to be
when she grew up

no, her lot in life was 
the cheerful slam
the business of spin
this art of consequence

she often mistook herself
for a brash young woman with a sense of humor
but filled with that constant looking for something
a little more worthy, a little more shiny

like a Calvinist minister at a rave
or a manufacture-refurbished virgin 
seedy, caught in some infidelity
all pretty pitiful and self-serving

she did not place too much faith in those feelings
mere rumors and unreliable reports
she knew there were no angels 
but what Selection had left standing

still, when night’s dark tide surged cold
forced to face down the contents of her soul
stripped bare of the pretty ribbons and bows
the last reminders of life before the self

the questions piled up, none of them permissible
she started with their surface, the only part that felt safe
only sometimes putting a thing behind you isn’t so easy to do

she wanted to listen to the trees
see if they had anything to say
they went on offering no opinion

then the noise fell away
and when that happens
you begin to hear yourself clearly

it was good, like water from a glass
and when she knew this new way of feeling was for real
she smiled, and the smiling made her beautiful

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