Perfect Angel

By Joseph Hesch

Sally was a girl of exotic beauty
in this gray and barren place.
Her skin as smooth and brown
as a caramel apple, she owned a face
men dreamed to make art about.

She had but three things keeping her
from perfection –
The first was the plain fact that
she was a whore, a prostitute in a world
where she was one of many
who could be declared such,
but she, unfortunately,
was one by definition.

Second, she had that scar at the corner
of her left eye that ran down
and around her cheek, curving back
toward where it began.
The track of a tear she decided
to uncry, perhaps.
It was given to her by the man
who introduced her to this Life
and to that third strike against
her flawlessness.

She used his Mexican and Afghan powders
to quench the other burning pain he gave her,
twining her need for his love
with his need for her to prove it
to him by loving others.
And when it wouldn’t deaden the burning
anymore, she used it to snuff the flame,
her flawless soul finally and
serenely leaving the streets
Perfect angel. Ugly world.

Once again, my fiction writing and poetry share a symbiotic relationship. My poem “Tagged” led to a short story of the same name, published by “Foliate Oak Magazine” last year. In the case of “Perfect Angel,” Sally began “life” as a character in my first big short story, “But Don’t Touch.” But the dear was edited out. Sally stayed on the shelf up in my writer’s attic for a couple of years, eventually appearing as one of the two major characters in my story “Sunrise, Sunset.” I couldn’t get her out of my head even after I got her on that page of prose, so here she is in poetic form with a little more emotion and story. I have linked this poem to dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link Night, which provides poets and readers an opportunity to get together and share their passions.

23 Comments

  1. Ugly topic, beautifully expressed. You doalmost give her wings…

  2. Thoughtful, sad, and such a harsh truth to the world we live in.

  3. good god…what a hard life and you know you got to wonder what it is that keeps them…is it really love or dependence and feeling unworthy of another…great pen sir…

  4. how sad for the perfect angel ..lovely story you shared here ~

  5. Joe…this is maddening! So sad, so desperate, so perfect. What a write!

  6. I loved these lines, "The track of a tear she decidedto uncry, perhaps." Can't help but wonder at the inspiration for this one.

  7. That was incredibly lonesome. I think you have been hanging out with the BorgPoet!Wonderfully poignant Joe.

  8. dang joe…think this is my new fav by you…awesome write and what a f..mad world

  9. is it bad that i found humor in this? i loved it!

  10. "The track of a tear she decidedto uncry, perhaps."Startlingly beautiful and tragic all at the same time!A compelling and compassionate poem.

  11. wow… harsh, beautiful, sad… the raw strength to carry on… a whole medley of emotion… beautiful

  12. Wow. What a poem. That last line just delivers like a punch to the stomach. Thanks for the write.

  13. Think everyone has already stole all my words..haha….harsh indeed, so true as well, sadly.

  14. Excellent piece Joe. The reality and psychology merge, which you harness about as well as one could. Really enjoyed the piece, thanks

  15. I love how you describe and use the scar to expand her story and character. Sad but well-written.

  16. Hi JosephWhat a poignant and perfect picture you have portrayed in your words… Thanks for sharing…Shashiॐ नमः शिवाय Om Namah Shivayahttp://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/11/whispers-tears-in-rain.html

  17. Powerful… and such a sad situation.

  18. Intense write– compression serves your well as does the deceptive ease of your style– evocative. Now I'm blue…xxxxj

  19. Wow, it's hard to think about the reality of this scenario, but by inviting us into her world and taking us through the spiraling journey with her you've managed to show how one can easily become a victim of his/her circumstances. So many are spoiled by the harshness of this world.

  20. ..we are living in an up-side-down world.. everything goes in separate ways.. and none is fair.. likable piece, indeed.Good day!~Kelvin

  21. You've approached this sadness so tenderly. Lovely piece.

  22. sigh…The track of a tear she decidedto uncry, perhaps…

  23. wow, Joe. just…. wow. what a story. love, love the the scar as a tear she decided to "uncry." wow.

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