The most beautiful woman I ever met,
Her name was Valentina.
Twenty-four, from the Greek islands,
Which one I don’t remember.
Married at 14, she had four children,
And when she smiled there were spots on her teeth,
Decalcified, not enough milk maybe.
Every beauty has a mole, an imperfection.
Welcome to American beauty.
Your kids can have enough to eat.
She washed my hair in the barber’s chair.
Her hands were sun and growing vines.
Greek hands wring fruit from stone, tell signs.
She anointed me with oil for my hair.