Sunday, July 24, 2011

delicate (rice paper)

delicate (rice paper)

her skin was as delicate
as rice paper
as rare
as kindness sustained

(anyone could be kind
or string acts of kindness
one after the other
to appear kind
but sustained kindness
offered beyond thought
was rare and beautiful)

and that skin
pale and sun-denied in winter
toasted brown in summer heat
(he would learn in the days to come)

made every shape curve and gesture
of her nearly unbearable and indelible

and he fell in love with her
watching her unaware of him
before she knew anyone watched
before she could imagine being watched

or loved

like a haiku carefully feathered
black ink etched across rice paper
rolled and tied with a green ribbon

later much later
when she sat cross-legged and barefoot
the soft white arch of her upturned foot
assured him of the promise of kindness

and nothing as delicate as that could match
the words he tried to lift from his lungs
that came out as only humming
and then she smiled kindly without thinking

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