Wednesday, March 2, 2011

purification process

purification process

fill a large bowl halfway with hot water

add a cup of honey

stir until it dissolves

add the quart of milk

stir and pour into large tub filled with warm water


be aware of what rises to the surface

look at it

claim it

give thanks for it

allow it to go down the drain

wear all white for 9 days

rake up the large pieces

sort by type

crawl into jagged limbs

to retrieve the scattered ones

if not you, who

use a stick to dig out the

tiny fragments embedded in mud

there really is no completion

without completing

bundle what you can

fill a large plastic tub halfway

with warm water

add an unmeasured amount of bleach

place the garments in and swish around


thin white fabric reveals

wear layers

buy as many as you can find

“you look great in your white”

they don’t see the stains

or the pain

or understand this is not for

appearances, comfort, or practicality

excavate all the crevices

dig deep into unknown compartments

fearlessly search

for who knows what

expose it all


there is no escape

until it is complete

and no way to know what complete is

add some soap to the water

and scrub



be aware of what washes out

the water may turn brown

but stubborn stains remain

hang on the line

let the sun burn out what it can

leaving will become a choice

it’s perfect either way

either you are humble or

you choose to stay

and take the heat

sweat it out

sing it out

pray it out

scream it out

cry it out

you have something to cry about

take the clothes off the line

this is a fleeting moment

savor it

before the process

begins again

the truth is

it rains in the desert

and there is no such thing as black and white

there is no such thing as white


  1. Captivating and beautifully written Elizabeth!

  2. I have the chills. Your words are so deep and beautiful and I can feel. each. one. Deep breath. You are alive!

    Love, Lisa


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