Come as you are

Come as you are, they say

They hold their arms out wide for you;

Their embrace will be like crawling into bed,

So soft- the white linen, the heavy duvet.

 

It is a lie, of course,

The kindest lie,

So kind it can be forgiven

 

No love is unconditional;

They will judge you.

All who seek to love must judge

Again, and again, every moment, every action.

 

They might forgive most aberrations,

But there are infringements so vile

They would break even the strongest heart

The cast-iron heart, the steel heart, the heart of diamond

 

But your sins are not so-

They are the tresspasses the world requires;

The unkind word, the broken promise,

Anger, impatience, thoughtlessness

Ignorance.

 

So you must come bared and naked.

Empty and exposed.

 

It will weigh more than a feather,

All of the harm you have caused added up

 

Intentional, unintentional, unjustifiable, deserved.

It has piled up your whole life, grain piled on grain,

drop piled on drop,

Until there is a mountain of it,

Until the pain you have caused could fill an ocean.

 

Come as you are, they whisper, they sing, those sirens;

They will love you with all their souls.

They will take you in and hold you like a child,

But only if you don’t weigh too much.

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