to bare my soul I seek my darkest thoughts.
I dig way deep, past the detritus of daily living.
Down, down, down.
Near my colon,
But not connected.
Down here there are rooms of darkest thoughts,
Like the catacombs, unlabled, hidden, fettered.
I open one door to find harsh criticism, harsh words, and harsh language
Behind the next door are darkest thoughts I’ve been told are bad, usually about body parts.
One more door and then that is enough for today. I have shined a bright light in each room to make the darkest thoughts disappear.
The last door I open today is stuck, grimy and won’t open at first.
Then it gapes wide to reveal racial epithets.
Racial terms I learned in children’s songs and games and stories.
Racial terms I learned in “off color” jokes and riddles.
Racial terms I learned in college on field trips with ROTC, in songs unrepeatable.
Words of shame.
Words of hate.
Words of dominance.
It takes five bright lanterns to scour this hole of its ancient and darkest of thoughts.
So I’m done. For today. But there are more doors.
Give me strength to undo what I have done and what I’ve left undone.