Oh beautiful degradation!
Peeled, chipped, and worn;
you’ve suffered years of flagellation
and, as such, your beauty was born.

Cascading blue,
spots of green,
shades of yellow,
and raw wood in-between.

Once you were flat,
young, fresh and new,
but the scars of time,
that is what made you.

Gapping gashes,
superficial scratches,
and peeling chips like arms
reaching out to the masses.

Oh beautiful degradation!
Aged, distinct, and matured.
Many may pass without salutation,
yet I sit here enamored…

I made a pilgrimage to Ouro Preto in 2012. I had wanted to attend the Easter spectacle since I was in high school. I was in a Spanish class, but there was this video about rituals in Latin America and I was stunned. Anyhow, I also later began to study the work of Elizabeth Bishop and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit her home in the city, Casa Mariana. Thank you to my colleagues who travelled with me and to those who invited me into their home. On Easter of all days! I had hoped to stay in touch, but my journal with all my writing, poetry, fiction, and beyond, was stolen the next day… “the art of losing“…

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