Most of Us Aren't Beautiful, Though Some Learn How

Kathryn Smith


The honeysuckle outgrows its trellis
and climbs the weeds. I'm back

where I started: stuck in a parable
I cannot, botanically, and do not,

theologically, believe. I've been gathering
dried pods of sweet peas because I know

I'll need their fragrance come spring.
Flung seeds leave coiled husks

behind, taut as a ringlet my hair
would never hold. Stupid world

with its spilled abundance and magazine
promises and thrift-store curlers. By the end

of the dance, my head looked
slept on, aphids clinging to the wilt

of my homemade corsage. Blessed are
the plain, for they shall come into their own

one day—in a field, most likely, bandanna-
clad, swatting at black flies, burnt

to the sleeves. See how much
happier I/we/you can be when I/we/you

stop caring? I hardly even want
to die anymore.