Waiting for Beauty

by John Graves Morris

There is a trick to it,
& a love feels it, late,
when he is touching for

the first time, knows
that touching too much
too soon will kill it

with impatience, so waits,
tracing with fingertips
the swells & plains & hollows

over & over in the dark,
in the breathless quiet,
learning quick patterns by heart

so at the right moment
he will touch what is ready
to open & swell & sing.

There is a danger to it,
& a lover learns it, late,
when he has waited too long,

has touched not enough,
has retraced familiar terrain
so that it loses it mystery

& the dark is failing
in the terrible quite
& the light that is coming

is the harsh, flat light
that diminishes, breaking
upon the dry husks of the heart.