My throat is streaked with
the age of my sins; they are older
than my friends, older than
any end that in striving for
becomes what I am dying for —
but my face is clean,
clean of the sin that boils
my heart, clean of the pride
that spoils each part of me
that could be redeemed, if
to be redeemed did not require
forgiveness, for how can I aspire
for what I don’t profess?
In the end my throat is pocked
with my offenses — but only in oil,
only in my reflection.

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