poem index

Ode to Ugly Things

by Leila Chatti

God bless ugliness. There is beauty
in every ugly thing. I don’t mean
 
those eyes and teeth drifted
apart like untethered boats, because they are beautiful.
 
I mean your sister, third grade,
her braces, each band
 
a yellow figure-eight, her favorite color,
and trapped between the interstice
 
of her front incisors, a gleaming broccoli bud.
I mean the beetle, crushed,
 
its husk
cracked like a walnut, broken shell
 
sleek as obsidian just cooled.
I mean fluff
 
of mold on two-week old pita bread, soft
green bloom on the dark back shelf.
 
I mean soar of the eyetooth,
slam of the door.
 
I mean blood, however it comes,
always bright and shining.
 
The ambulance still screaming
its wail life life life!
 
all its lights spinning.
The car’s plunge
 
over the rail of the bridge, glint
of sparks from metal wrenched,
 
sleeve of water opening
for whatever enters it.
 
Your husband fucking another woman
across town, the room paid in cash,
 
even there is beauty. See how they rise and fall. See how
in their faces, for a moment, is something like joy.