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How it is
that it comes to this —
that all that matters
is clean, deathly clean?
And yet we still move forward.

I strip you clean
of everything that belongs to you,
and peel and scrape
until all your bones
lay bare to the bold sun

and in turn
I bring home boxes of oddities —
cairns in each room —
making me wonder who
will clean my house come time

I too
will be so stripped,
peeled, scraped,
laid bare. I pray the sun warms,
sheds kindness as it bleaches

and that somewhere
in the great pile of debris
is forgiveness —
a gentle rain, a mild breeze,
an open meadow with wide arms.