You might consider
opening your heart to yourself.
You might consider lifting those clouds
you wrap around yourself
high enough to reflect that pink undergarment.
It’s the sun’s work if you let it.
Would this make you laugh?
Would you see the hope in this?
Or, like a daytime moon,
does the burden of the hour pale that possible mercy?
And what of your building, your labour, your investments,
You say, only oily rags.
You say, you’ve lit them up
and dragged them across the dry straw of your thoughts.
You feel deeply for the groomed business man
sitting at the table in front of you.
You see his left hand
with which he holds his cell phone shake
and as he tries to steady it, it shakes some more.
You could have the same sympathy for your shaky-self,
but don’t. Why?
Why are you determined
to resurrect childhood punishments?
As if they weren’t enough.
You heap rebuke on your own head like coals.
It’s become a habit you can’t break.
Shame is your phantom companion,
as real as anything,
unbidden from a Calvin conscience,
busy calculating guilt, electing the bread of affliction,
and scolding for wanting everyone to love you.
Because wanting everyone to love you
is surly sin, surly filthy rags.