Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Only skin and mucous membranes
Separate us from Universe’s greatness

Shroud us in individuality
Remove oneness from our reality

When we die they disintegrate
Lifting the veil of this altered state

Uniting our bones and our eyelashes
With dust of dust ashes of ashes



Mind naked in the morning,
Upon awakening, I am who I am.
Immediate chatter starts with
“You are awake”
Beginning its constant commentary
On my life.

Next — armor. Piling on
Protective layers.
First, weather check:
To lament or to rejoice?

Next — body. Never perfect,
Always lacking, need help.
Too fat too thin, hair too short too long.
Gut rumbling, bladder bursting,
Eyes glued, palms sweating, heart thumping.
Must conceal behind

Next — stories. I am your
Mother, wife, doctor, lawyer, preacher, CEO,
Wealthiest woman alive! That’s who!
Proof? Plasma-screen high-definition life-sized information-altar,
A Porsche, Cristal on Delta, Four Seasons preferred club.
That’s who! Strong, confident, winning.

An armadillo, a rhinoceros, that’s who.
This suit is unbearable. It makes me sweat.
It blinds me. It prevents me.
It protects me… from what?

I can barely see you, straining,
Breaking under your armor.
We are afraid of each other’s daggers,
Of each other’s spears.
Of each other’s tears?

Close my eyes, feel my breath,
Slow my mind, see you clearly.
Peel the armor, layer by tedious layer.
Put each layer on the shelf.
No, toss it into the ocean. Burn it!
Here I stand, arms at my sides,
Heart open, soul humming.

Put down your daggers,
Take off your armor,
Put it on a shelf
Or in the ocean
Or in the fire.
Take my hand,
Walk with me,
Be naked.

The persistence of water

My thoughts are water
Flowing into the cracks
In the pavement of
My mind
Keeping me
On guard and ready for
Any assault the Universe has
Planned to challenge me with
A river traversing my soul
Boring valleys through it
Leaving empty caves
And lonely boulders
And sand