He Said to Let Go

It was a scraping out,
a cleansing out, an up-
side down, a scouring
that swept the tiles
clean and overturned
all the dusty chairs.
It was a pouring out,
a filling in, a tidying
up, a stripping down,
a patting dry and a
working through. It
was a drying up--
it was a murder, kill
ing clean, a stringing
up on a chandelier
and hanging them
dead. It was everything
I needed, it was a
breaking apart and a
sewing together
with stitches that hurt.

My knuckles, scr
--atched til they
bleed and pull apart,
every fiber, every
tendon, every sinew
from another, until
I let go. A claw,
a hand of God,
I know not which--
a knife to finish
the scratching raw
and a balm to rub
into the bits that
stung. It hurt to let
go, but it broke my
breaths to hang on.
Born to be a sinner,
called to be a saint,
stuck scrubbing
the sides of this soul
with nothing but my
hair to spread
the perfume.

The End

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