We can find beauty everywhere, I once proclaimed, and in everything—even in the decay of roses and in the corpses of dead seagulls on the beach, in the scars on otherwise smooth flesh, but there is no beauty like the body of any creature in its perfect, healthy form. A perfect body shields all the blemishes and corruptions of the soul, makes them irrelevant to our regard, I once—late at night in bed, in an after-love drowse—had announced to her, to my regret.

Frederic Tuten, “Self-Portrait with Beach”