Room 9: Immaculate Heart

Room 9: Immaculate Heart

I stayed in this room last time 
I was here on retreat.
#9, my lucky number.
Immaculate Heart.
My heart was certainly
not immaculate then.
I tossed and turned
full of illicit desire and unrest.
I prayed for the courage to deliver myself
from such pain
such torment.
Give me strength, give me strength, give me strength.
Is my heart now immaculate?
Now that my prayers for strength and courage
were answered?
Whatever pain and unanchored resentment
that remained
was surely blown far away
on the blustery wind I drove in on.
Any last crevices hiding
the dust of regret were cleared
by that frigid howling.
Is what’s left immaculate?
I ask again.
No, no, never immaculate.
I am human, after all.
The glaze that covers my heart
is full of imperfections.
Piercings from arrows that missed their mark,
cracks that healed improperly.
No, I wouldn’t say
Hopeful, I’d say.
Full of the scent of narcissus
and lavender.
Ambitious like the jet aiming high
over the mountain.
Undeterred, like the waves meeting the
sharp rocks of the shore
Slowly, gently, persistently
softening them
with their salty water.

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