Cleanse

I stood in front of the home you've built; your white picket fence and the perfect curtains framing pristine windows.

But this time I looked closer.

This time I could see the places where paint has been slathered on thick; a quick fix to shroud the decay. The places where neat and tidy beds of roses sit pretty in front of a crumbling foundation.

I stood.

Wind whipping my hair in front of my eyes.

Grass twining around my ankles.

My heart keening in my throat.

And I studied.

I studied you,

I studied your foundation.

I had one match left.

I wanted to use that match on you.

To burn your foundation to true ground.

To expose you.

To free you, maybe.

To hurt you, definitely.

I could see, I could feel and I could hear the way the flames would lick their way up the walls you've built; languorous and fluid as they consumed your facade.

But I turned on my heel.

I turned my back on your white picket fence and your beautiful curtains.

And I struck my match on a stone.

I held her small flicker to the sky;
in reverence, in gratitude, in prayer.

And then I dropped that match to the ground.

I felt my last match land at my feet.

I felt her flames, languorous and fluid, begin to climb me.

And I felt her feast on all of the places you still exist in me;

the tender places that still hold love,

the raw places anchored in hurt,

the hard places tamping down denial

and the places aching, screaming, writhing with anger.

Even though hell hath no fury, I didn't burn you down.

I burned you away.

And now I step not from my own ashes, but from the ashes of where I wore you, of where I carried you.

And now, old friend, good-bye.

Because this is the last time that I burn for you.