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"My Perfect Triangle (The First I'd Ever Seen)" by Eva Valenti

Rarely does nature show us a perfect angle

Patterns can be found nestled in shells or the centers of flowers,

But it's rare for a flesh-and-blood creature to know the sharpness of a perfect triangle in branches or an array of stones.

Most things in human life are knobbed and gnarled,

dirt floors, tangled hair, vestiges of bodily imperfections past.

You were my perfect triangle,

the first I'd ever seen

an anatomical anomaly: a harmony of beautiful angles gleaming violet and tasting of metal,

and I, human, gaped at you open-mouthed

the way I have at all magics that turned out to be simple unknowns,

i stumbled forward into your light dragging the backs of my hands behind me like an ape

the closest i'd known to true prayer was careful analysis,

but in you there was nothing to analyze,

your constitution was beyond the scope of human formulas,

bloodless (where I am made of blood, and can't control its whims)

I bathed in my mystification until, like all magic, it was harshly proven otherwise

what becomes of the enlightened?

you weren't always the triangle:

you told me they had to break you before they could rebuild your bones,

and now that you've broken my heart, will it grow back a more perfect heart?

the curves hardening into lines to form a triangle heart, superior to others

so I might one day gaze metallic violet onto a mesmerized admirer,

not quite enjoying my power (I know you didn't enjoy playing god any more than god enjoys being god),

but accepting it because it's beautiful?


pitiful as it may be,

human I have something you don't,

that clawing desperation to survive,

irrational hope, the gory imperfections of passion,

I will never be a triangle, and moreover I will never have one--

merely the metallic taste of wonder in my mouth (true prayer never provides an answer):

were I to show you the full jaggedness of my edges,

what color would you see?



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