The Galleries

by Gary Hardaway

There is no intrinsic beauty here
or anywhere. We invent our beauties

as we find them and engineer
our horrors as a death stained

counterpoint as if we can't determine
what we love without a shuddering fear

nearby. We learn by naming,
by dividing, by sorting the mysteries,

yes and no. Something simple seeming
as “salt to taste” distills an ancient history

of choice and accident, discovery
and repulsion. Where beauty started,

no one knows. But, here it is, there it is,
in the wall-less galleries of trial and error.