Taking It Off
Some years are just
one hair shirt layered onto another,
each one doing its best
to fuse with skin.
Now is the time
I will finally peel them off,
a slow psychological striptease.
I examine each one only briefly
then throw it
onto an enormous fire,
that original bonfire
fueled by grace and forgiveness,
by the bones
of a thousand other troubles.
Its tongues of flame
sing torch songs and the blues, praises
for every dull, flawed, and disastrous thing.
Its flames lick and illuminate wounds,
leave smoke and spark and new mirrors.
Finally the last one comes off.
I stand here
naked and perfect,
just like you,
just like everyone.