I knew a girl
whom it hurt to look upon.
She was a moving form of pain:
a pillar of fire.
Her soft hair made me ache.
Her walk was a dagger,
her smile like a brand.
Every word she spoke
was heaven’s own agony.

She was so beautiful
it transcended delight.
She took beauty, and turned it
into something unbearable.
She became, to me,
a source of mystic knowledge:
that a vision can be so good
you almost wish it never was.

I learned from her
the way of the moths,
who long for the light
that burns them.
How like a flame she was.
How divinely consuming.

I cannot even describe it.
Instead, I speak of the pain
and hope you will understand:
for it was a good thing –
so good, it became bad:
bad for the limited me,
good for my true self.

A beauty like that
tears you out
by your optic nerve,
and rips away all complacent being.
What is left cannot be pictured.
I can only tell what happened
to what was left behind.