On Disfigurement

The boy, eight, looks up with bright eyes shining,
Shining for his father's eyes,
Electrified by the same deep chasms of earth-toned eyes.
Mirrored and mirrored and on into eternity,
They stare, and they shine.

There is a hole where his cheek should be,
And his father's eyes, wet with intensity,
A deep fire burning in the bottomless chasm,
Run over and over the contour of flesh.
The boy grins: The lines of his lips fold up
To the left and end abruptly to the right.

He will have surgery, and then he will be beautiful.
That is what the doctors say.
He will have the surgery, and all his beauties--
The myriad subtleties of the shining eyes,
The line of his abrupt and constant smiles--
Will remain intact.

And his father tucks him in
Beneath a blanket with the letters of the alphabet.
The father points to the A (by his right cheek)
And down to the Z (down by his leftest toe)
And says, "I love you from here to here."

And says, "Are you scared?"
(The boy trembles underneath the blanket of letters
And the blanket of his father's hands spread across him.
The boy shakes his head, "No.")
And says, "It will be hard at times."
(The boy trembles, a shining tear cresting over
The great peak of his lid, caressing his contours).
And says, "We don't have to go through with it."
(The boy stops abruptly and smiles.
"Yes. We do.")

His father takes his child's face in his
Large, large hands,
And says, "I love you from here to here."
And he kisses his son on the left cheek,
Perfectly shaped and smiling just like all others,
And he kisses his son on the right cheek,
Where the contour glistens with a tear and is beautiful.

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