You tell me beauty is perfection.
It is the airbrushed, bright white,
no-cellulite bodies in the papers and magazines,
American dreams written in lipgloss and eyeliner
the thinner the better
the tighter the nicer
the young over old-
as it’s then that everything starts to unfold.
don’t smile too much or lines will form around your eyes.
Don’t eat that cake for it will go straight to your thighs
or you will slowly rot inside.
But beauty, for me,
is the warmth of your yellow-toothed smile,
as the wrinkles on your face tell a tale untold.
It is the scar on my elbow,
and the sporting injury in your knee
and the pock marks on our thighs.
In the round belly that is nice to hug
and the face that glows without make-up.
I find it in the eyes of those who love well-
and are not afraid to live.
Who age, and smile, and laugh and dance-
sharing their stories along the way.
I see it everyday-
when I stop looking for perfection.