On Seeing a Picture of Avril Lavigne That Brought to Mind Poe’s Lenore

Don’t stare too long; the shadows ’round her eyes
Absorb your soul. Don’t linger on her mouth,
The petals of a pout. Don’t sympathize
With milk; her skin is milk. Don’t be devout.
Look once and note forever how her hair
Asserts itself forever, like a stroke
Of paint that’s brushed by one who doesn’t care
If art is beauty or some cosmic joke.
Take all the time you need when she is gone
To press your head against some velvet thought–
Some thought divined, forever lingered on,
Rejected and embraced, escaped and caught.
Her youth is not the youth you meant to find
Upon the edges of your mortal mind.

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