I stand under scalding water that blossoms into steam,
molting my too-tight skin in swirls reminiscent of a peeled apple.
I scrub blotchy pink skin, striving to wash away any remaining traces
of acquiescence
—my own private baptism.

As no prophet is accepted in his own country, so I am shunned
for speaking only truth, as it is void of the bows and frills
that a liar’s tongue
is dressed in.

Accusations of blasphemy unfurl from the lips of those
who shield themselves from the blinding white of their own sins,
eyes shrouded in
hypocrisy and comfort.

They sit complacent while giving audience to false witness,
claiming logic and morality, stewing in their own acrid ignorance.
They would give credence to one whose throat houses an empty grave,
rather than grant reclamation
to those who need it most.

A clever gardener welcomes snakes, but a fool startles. And okay, I’m
a sinner, but God never burdened the angels with being girls or boys.
it is not sacrilege to reside in accordance with what is

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