I Make Sad Beautiful
I make sad beautiful, old lace, delicate as child’s
breath, in cedar chests tucked fondly away, old lace
and withered roses, deep blood rust fragile as
newborn day, powdered sachet in hope chests
old lady souvenirs, dried flowers pressed between
ages of books, poems by Browning, sweet kisses
from grandmothers dry ancient lips.
I make sad beautiful, faded photographs, ancestors
unknown died in sepia-toned memoirs of decades
flown by, strange sad images of bygone mores.
I make sad beautiful, sounds made by kinder words,
lullabies crooned to sweet babies sleeping, words as
gentle as kittens, fleeting as the monarch
butterfly passes, hymns sung by angelic choirs,
grand operatic gestures and sounds lithe as
the beat of bird wings.
I make sad beautiful, Verdi’s operas and Mimi’s
death, tragic, lonely music soaring in night rigs,
beautiful flute notes sailing on a hot summer
breeze, deep lamenting requiems, and far off
fog horn cries.
I make sad beautiful, wondrous arias to end
your days, or being a life.
I make sad beautiful, but if you don’t like my
music, don’t listen; if you don’t like my songs,
don’t sing with me; if you don’t like my poems,
don’t read with me, poems flowing gentle tears,
tears of memory, la mamma morta m’hanno alla porta della stanza mia; moriva e mi salvava! my mother is dying, close to the door to my room
while dying, she saved me!
I make sad beautiful with tears of joy, beautiful
graceful as blown glass animals, delicate dolls
locked in curio cabinets, dark wood frames with
leaded glass panes, sad as glass menageries,
curious refrains from childhood, sad is beautiful when
kept out of the light, sad as dog-eared books,
butterflies pinned to velvet, sad as the hushed voices
of children stilled before their time fulfilled, sad as
the voices of children caught in pain, sad as adults
locked in private hells, sad is beautiful, only if sad is
brought out of darkness, then the eye can see beauty.