What will it profit you to gain the whole world and forfeit your life?
         Indeed, what can you give in return for your life?

                        —Mark 8.36-37

In how many ways do you forfeit your soul?
For what borrowed thoughts,
what presumed judgments,
have you given away
what is you,
the dark I AM at the core?
What can counterfeit that beauty,
approximate that mystery,
replicate that once-in-a-lifetime You?

Oh, yes, the suffering of honesty is real,
the cost of being yourself is awful.
Almost as bad as not,
except for the stripping away of what isn’t,
the loss of what was loss to begin with,
the death of all that isn’t eternal of you,
with nothing left but divine light.

Come stand in this clearing,
exposed and true,
solitary yet embraced—possessed—
and let the word that began all things
burn in you.

   —September 14, 2018

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