Beauty is the Promise of Happiness

Once, a television star put her hands
over her heart and told me I was supernaturally beautiful
I thought I could live that way forever, my beauty
a brimming satchel of gold swung over my shoulder
(with each toss of my hair the coins rained down into the grass)
Those nights I’d watch my own reflection in the heaven
of a stranger’s pupils, beaming like search lights
You hate where this is going. Don’t worry. I’ve heard it said
that pretty girls die twice. I must have looted this thing,
on loan from Mother Nature but never wholly mine
Don’t I know that Father Time will reach his thick
hairy fingers under my skin and pull? And shove me
into the mid-day sunlight, squinting and slack,
to my place beside the garbage bags? Once,
someone cradled my taut face in their hands
for the very last time