Joshua sinks into his chair

Joshua sinks into his chair
and slinks the way a snake might slink
into his cellar thoughts that make
him hate the parts of him that think.
He wants to seize his vast mistakes
by the throats that swallow his quenchless prayers

and squeeze them dry. Repentance is
a wooden awl, fresh with ear
and shore-bent with the howling tides,
the waves whose lunar puppeteer
escorts them to the beach's side
like a squiring father surrendering his

only daughter. Joshua's need
to re-grow up, that bleeds with doubts
and manifest missteps, is matched
only by the faith he does without,
an old garment, poorly patched,
that reeks of life and foolish deeds.

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