Tasting beauty

When my old man who made
the walls of our bungalow
bend and shiver with his loud,
grating voice and shattered
the mirrors with just a glance
said, “Don’t waste your life
hating me. I’m not worth it,”
my thoughts rose like a crescendo,
a rhythmic increase in cries
for retribution and judgement-laced,
“He’s using self-pity to toy with
your feelings!” But something
that language cannot explain,
that words can never describe,
whispered in the heart of hearts,
a place deeper than bone
and more profound than blood
and I knew then that I had
to let go, I hugged him
and then my mother with
tears leaving silver stains on
my cheeks, and I knew
I’d tasted beauty, not intellectually,
but in a way that makes you
see yourself from a bird’s-eye-view –
the apogee of freedom
from yourself if such a thing
is possible –
and realise that you’re
inconspicuous, just matter that’s
animated, and not hardwired to
harbour bitterness,
I could have called everyone I
hurt or who hurt me then and
said, “I love you. Let’s end this.”

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