Strip off the shoes and pantyhose, the grown-up drag. Undo those soft white arms and their blond down, moss made of light. Wash away the sour working sweat, fatigue of heels and fluorescent lights. Unhook that tired bra, unclench the feet with their worn-out travelogues, knees, complaining in their bone cradles, the drooling sex, and the shamed belly, pouched like a stubborn mountain. Release the years in a shower of moths shaken free from an old sweater so full of holes you can see through to the skin. Strip off the skin. Let it hang over a chair the way it has hung from your body lately, exhausted, confessing to years of experience. Strip away experience, that false umbrella blocking the only sun. Strip your mind of these words, clods of dirt kicked up by donkey mind, clouds that will soon pass. Let the clang of language die in your mouth. Let your overworked tongue hang, innocent and dumb as tomorrow morning. No one owns it yet, that paper minidress of time, meant to be cast off after one wearing. I want to strip. It’s the jewel at the center I seek; let me be oyster, hoarding pearl. Let me be coal, sheltering diamond. Though in my heart of hearts I am afraid I may be onion, each white circle of stinky tears hiding another exactly like it. Or rose: whose petals are her everything.