Coming Home: Day 7 - what if I stopped apologizing to/for myself?
What are the words that are falling away: the slick shame of apology, I mean apologizing for what lives inside my heart. Shame. Shame. This is the thing I want to give up for Lent, the hollow hoarding of misery just to wear it like a fur coat on my tongue, just so that I cannot fully enunciate, just so I can’t quite speak. Give me this, mother. Hold out your two choir hands and let me drop there this years-long bath of shame, this unguent tenacity, this bilge of broken bones, this dishonest levelour, this underskin. I have been wearing shame like it was my own name for so many years that I am not quite sure who to be without it, am altogether too naked, feel uncloaked even if what I really mean is washed clean. Clean has not been my name; I’m the girl who climbed into dirty and made a home, swept out one corner and brought in my books and a blanket. This is what I want to tell you – shame has been the armor, sure, wet and creaky though it was, wholly eroticized, consecrated, entangled with my every vein. I thought it was my own heartbeat – but I was wrong, wasn’t I? What does it mean, now, to be without that slick skin?