Letter to Henry

“I think they make it ugly on purpose,”
you said, and yet
“beauty is terror”
is always the mantra of the intelligent.
Live forever?
But why? What for,
to treasure the gift we’ve been given?
That smell of rot is a reminder:
ignore the aesthetics of the thing,
Henry, you don’t understand.
Life is fleeting, evil
swallowed up by love.
Henry, put down the books, you’re
dreaming.

Dreaming
Henry, put down the books. You’re
swallowed up by love,
life is fleeting. Evil
Henry, you don’t understand –
ignore the aesthetics of the thing,
that smell of rot is a reminder
to treasure the gift we’ve been given.
But why? What for?
“Live forever!”
is always the mantra of the intelligent.
“Beauty is Terror,”
you said, and yet
I think they make it ugly on purpose.

– a specular poem inspired by the character Henry Winter, from The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

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