You do not have to be good
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

-Mary Oliver

Repenting is a way of life
It is a way of viewing the world:
From your knees, hands clasped, eyes closed tight
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry”
Still. Not. Good enough.

Before the altars of humility, crucifixes dangling above my bowed, repenting head
I am reminded that I am Unworthy,
Lucky-I-mean-blessed that a god-who-is-love should love me
I have been choking on worthy since I was old enough to cry.

Repent! Is the call of our culture and the cry of my heart,
The vainly shed tears
Repenting is only the beginning, alpha, and omega is the punishment
Penitence demands my sins in blood
And the scars of the mind are forced to heal on the skin

Mine is the sin that is unforgivable, the stain that will not bleach, the idea that will not be expunged
Not by your words or my deeds or
This razor. (repent. rinse. repeat.)

Still I would like to repent –
to cast off,
to be relieved of,
to confess
and be forgiven

One thought on “Repent

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