in a bardo house

you take down the photos
of family and red and gold
smooth paintings of nudes

because the doors
are now open to those
who have made you

want to leave
from the beginning.
now they wander

your halls, the only
place you were
ever yourself

and they become
the critics you
feared, making

pronouncements:
you are inappropriate.
you don’t belong here.

so you strip the walls
of anything that will
remind them you will

burn in hell so they will
buy your home
so you can leave

this hell
they’ve made of preparing
for heaven.

2009

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