by River Malcolm
I want to tell you how beautiful you are
in such a true and unforgettable way
that you will never doubt it again.
It will be as though through the lens of a poem
you will suddenly see: yourself, truly
the whole you, naked.
It will be as though you are walking alone
in the woods when a great blue heron lifts
into the air, or a single wild orchid blooms,
or the moon shines down on still water,
and it is enough.
Your heart stops.
You are left grateful, simply for being alive.
It will be your own beauty this time
taking you so suddenly and by surprise,
the mysterious beauty of your entire life
carefully inscribed in your body.
It will be as though the poem becomes
your dream lover, caresses your skin
with absolute tenderness, lights up
with its touch every cell in your body,
enters you with a gasp of astonished desire,
plunges deep into the secret
at the center of who you are.