Today I took off my shame
I didn’t hurl it at the ground
I just noticed I was small enough to slip through it
Bodiless, it fell like a pile of empty armour
On a silent battlefield.
Every strap and buckle had a war plan
More advanced than mine
So I’d dragged her with me everywhere
Every meeting, every parting, every kiss and every meal
Had hosted this unburied corpse of a guest.
And I, unable to see a life unburdened by this heaviness,
could not lay this Shame to rest, could make no funeral plans.
Did I slip through or did this heaviness slip off my shoulders, easy as a negligee?
Either way, this lightness is a new invention,
A dimension of powers lost to the absent-minded.
Disarmed I seek no more protection
Freed from support of muscle and bone
She lies in a jumbled heap
A dismembered outgrown crab shell
In the tall wet grass.
I must have slept because I woke
Startled in her shadow.
She had reassembled into someone familiar
Someone who could be seen.
She bowed down upon one knee and took her leave
She was still dark.
A sash of fireflies formed to light her way
And I watched her go for hours and hours and hours.
All the way to the thin sharp edge, the burning pyre
Of the coming day.