Protesting the Ideal
When Mr. Ellis told me in metal shop to make it square,
I thought of the pockmarked complexion of Venus
de Milo and of the age of her amputations, porous uneven,
but smoothed by the breath of the Earth;
I considered how the spring freckles on Gabi’s nose
accompanied a renewed radiance that dulled each winter,
and how those russet flecks compared to Cindy Crawford’s
mole, which drew all eyes from a porcelain world;
I reveled in subtlety—the tan lines peeking,
the dimples on beauty’s thigh,
a patient patina, forming—molecule by molecule--
only recognized by those who appreciate suggestion.
When he insisted I make it square
I pushed the bubble of my level slightly left, in protest,
scratched two lines and folded my seam,
skewed just enough to make my box off-centered, unbalanced,
transecting the room of right angles.
About the author:
Daniel Ruefman is a widely published poet, whose work has appeared in Burningword, Barely South Review, Temenos, Tonopah Review, Flagler Review, Fertile Source, SLAB, and others. His chapbook, Breathe Automatic, was released in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. He currently teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.