subtraction

undressed and
shaved - not a
single hair do i have left
naked
egg i stand
head-bowed with all i
ever owned
removed
and what is left
existence shorn 
bare bone, unsightly 
flesh hiding
life the immaterial core 
where pasts are stored 
anamnesis of all that
is, i stand with it 
shivering in the light 
crowded-out
by other
pink white
eggs scraped clean
of all their living - they look 
like me - 
i wonder can
i survive such
thin tally - less now
sloughed, than i have
ever been - or 
are heart and 
mind the only
real things, the rest 
mere trimmings, layers 
obscuring true
meaning and value
by which we live, breathe
choose  not




money or clothes, not 
position, taste, possessions, not 
accolades, beauty or face
we hold within
the only things that
make us human:
memories in our heads - 
loves in our hearts - 
deeds of our hands -
untouchable grain - 
without them 
we are nothing
subtract from me 
diminish me with loss 
scrape my hair my face
steal my clothes, my rings, my dignity 
yet still in me resides 
a force unseen
which no man
with a gun, no barbed-wire
pen
can part 
from its own 
living twin
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