That she was not pretty she knew.
The flowers delivered into her hands post-concert by the young girl, pretty, would be acknowledged only. To display was to invite comparison.
Skilled at withholding, she withheld; it was a kind of giving. As when meditation is a kind of action,
a way of leaning into music the way one leans into winter wind, the way a mule leans into a harness,
the way a lover leans into the point of deepest penetration.
After a ship’s prow cuts the water, the water rushes back twice as hard.
Read this and three other poems on the Poetry Foundation’s website.