Appraisal Of A Diamond (Unfinished Cut)

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

Imperfectly,
I stand before you,
A man. If you can’t see
All the things that I am,
I’m not content to hang around
As the retirement plan.

I’ll never boss you around,
But that’s not ‘cause I’m weak.
It’s because I have the security
To let you be you,
And me, be me.

I stand on my own two feet.
And I don’t ever base my self-esteem
Off some meaningless number
Of late night creeps.

I’ve searched my own deeps, for
A healthy conception of masculinity-
This is a long-term investment scheme,
So I ask, do you really know what patience means?

Without games, on an even plane,
No cliché lines or insincere sayings.
You can always find another “strong-type,”
One of those paper-thin cut outs
From the book of male stereotypes.
Still, truth untold,
We both know –
It’s unconventionality
That makes a diamond
In the rough.

I have learned that
Determining a diamond’s cut grade
Goes well beyond
Simple measurements,
Like width and depth.
To determine
A diamond’s worth,
You have to test
Its light performance.

Even if a stone seems
To have color and clarity,
You can tell a real diamond
By how it catches the light,
Disperses evenly across the rock,
While a fake becomes almost transparent
As saturated light moves through it.

In another poet’s words:
Some [folks] recognize the light
But they can’t handle the glare
.

I’ve also learned that appraisal of a diamond
Is determined by its own proportions.
You have to test for symmetry.
Does it seem to be high-grade carat
While you’re around?
And karma, karma, chameleon
To cubic zirconium
If you’re visiting
The other side of town?

The thing is,
I’m not really here
To expose other contradictions.
I just want you to listen.

I want to talk to you
About how chivalry is not dead.
Look you right in the eye,
And tell you why. Talk
About how romance
Is still very much alive.
So, no more wind-whispered cries,
About how good manners have all but died.

Some might call my confidence conceited,
But I’m not recarving any hieroglyphs.
This type of affection is ancient,
So help me embrace it. Engage me –
With extensive emotional foreplay
And intellectual tongue-kissing;
Way before incense
And candles get lit.

And tonight?
Let’s try starting over,
With a night on the town.
Some good food,
And better conversation,
A jazz spot, if you’re down.

Or maybe, we could catch
A late-night flick
That really makes us think.
And when we’ve talked ourselves dry,
Neither one of us
Would mean a goodbye,
So we’d retire homewards,
And unwind.

Because I do want you,
The right way.
I want you,
And I want you to want me, too.
I want you to want me,
Just like I want you.

Nevertheless,
No stress for you,
Or for me.
If these rivers are meant
To find their way to the sea,
It will happen, naturally.

Diamond

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