Beauty Spot

Will Schutt

Those hills, maybe, at the bookends of summer.
Green bench in a shade, the Georgica jetty, magnificent ocean
rocks we hiked between. California wildflowers.
Some views of Grenoble going up the St. Hillaire du Touvet
funicular coupled with the knowledge that way
down there a poor half-Polish farmhand grew up to be the Eighth
Wonder of the World. Roberto sat in the same
spot by the Arno every afternoon for a year with a broken heart.
Later, he met his wife there. So now that place
in his mind is crossed with pain and happiness, which in many
people’s books makes beauty. Like staring out
at the gulf of Populonia while feeling the Etruscan necropolis
at your back. It’s lovely to see, anyway: suddenly
lilies where lilies vanish, what house our earnest eyes conceive.

“Transparent Window on a Complex View”

Brilliant lemon morning. Tania outside
dumping mulch. Two doorstop snowshoe
hares by the door: summer morphs with ferruginous
scuff on their ears. Set on dishcloths,
they’re a mix of iron sconce and scrimshaw.
Honey bunch in the garden. On the sill a Ziploc
bag of permanently wet radicchio we bought
at the farmers’ market from the kids in Carhartts
who return each year to tend the horse-
powered farm. Apostolic boredom in their
silent straight mouths, they listen to the chef
from the Mexican restaurant called El El
Frijoles sautéing Quorn in soy sauce and talking
up the nutritional value of imitation meat.
Yuma Yellow, the light outside. An unlikely
favorite. Not mine. Fairfield Porter’s. He failed
to jump some railroad tracks in a car that color.
To him, what was solid was miraculous:
planes of light, day-old eggs on a white dish,
objects taken frankly by the hour on their own.
No one is especially pretty or monstrous
posed on his lupine and dandelion couch:
Running socks. A red hat. A rocking horse.
That which was real, and changing, and light.

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