disguises itself

as austerity and piety

and always has

since the first person glowed

and the second person

wished they could shine

and thought the glow

was the thing

and not the invisible

unseen heart


And ugliness

disguises itself

as beauty

and age becomes a child

and until you can know

the pure heart of yourself

you can’t know

the truth of another



is shaken and shined

and cleansed

and always has been

since the first person

mistakenly thought

they had sinned


* Published in The American Poetry Review November/December 2003 as # 12