is the ideal,

gifted by Plato himself,

that has captured

us as human beings

and enclosed us

in its deep

and ravishing power,

as deep as the soul’s

need for significance,

and as wide

as the signs

and objects

that surround us

and define our very being.


Sitting in a hair salon

watching the power

of beauty sweep

over hair and seep

out of mirrors,

it’s material presence

seems to come from the

realms of perfection

to strike

the human condition

and remind us of

our rugged imperfection.


Beauty, you are

a presence

that unites us

across cultures,

languages and religions;

you are the master

and the mistress

that enslaves us

and directs us

in the ways we want

to show our


to each other.


You are

the pervasive end

to which we strive,

but never reach

as a species,

through our art

and culture,

in our installations,

sacred objects

and living spaces,

in all our ways

of dressing for ourselves

and for each other.



you saw it right:

beauty is the ideal

of ideals,

the perfection

of perfections,

that even the gods

are beholden to.