I stand beneath the angry steam,
Unhinged from all my armors.
As empty as a scoured kettle.
As solemn as a clapperless bell.

My hands, my rough, hairy-knuckled hands:
How could I have expected more?
You darling monsters,
You have done all that you could.
My face, a pimple stuck with crusted ooze,
Oh, face,
You were the best that you could manage.

Imperfection is a spectrum,
I have learned.

All things possess their faults,
They say - this is not quite true.
Some of us, weak specimens,
Are rather by our faults possessed.
The ghost of error tickling up our spine
Directing us,
Benevolently sure that it knows best.

The water runs,
Spittle from old pipes of verdigris.
The water runs and licks the dust and tatters,
Leaves behind, insoluble,
The sticky grease of sin.

(Image by Jerry Bowley)