God Prefers Us Naked

Do you know about the Rapture? How after the battle of Armageddon the
righteous will be lifted out of their clothes right up into the sky? Perhaps, on their
way to heaven, they’ll be undressed by snowy angels, soft angel fingers unzipping
and unbuttoning, gently lifting out bare arms and legs– pants, shirts, dresses, socks,
underwear of the righteous all fluttering down upon the trees and rivers, golden
sand. Then, Whoosh! The naked whisked straight up to the right hand of God.

All the others, like me, will be burned on the spot.

But maybe if I beat God to it, rip off all my clothes in front of strangers, say, look,
say to God, look, I don’t believe in you but look– wrinkled skin, clogged blood,
brittle bone, warts and moles, say, look, this is what I’m made of, then maybe
God’ll get confused, impressed, stop right in his tracks, say, what the hell is going
on here, say to himself, hey, maybe I’ll spare this one, naked as a baby, who’s
already halfway there.

-- Rose Black
The autumn leaves.

You talk about leaving, leaving this place and I know what you mean. This 
vaulted, cavernous and ornate place, with its streaming light and acoustic 
richness, but more, you talk about the lengthy and arduous task of removing 
each stone, taking down the vaults, flattening the pointed arches, sending 
back the colored light, blackening the gleam, releasing its captive soaring 
spaces and letting their long resonance hemorrhage in the sky.

You talk about this place, this place leaving and I know what you mean. 
This life together in constant companionship, this folie a deux with the 
spell now broken, this wanton autumn that strayed away from summer. But, as 
I think of it, maybe you mean that all the chapters of the book lay there 
bound and instantaneous, yet we can only move through them across time.

Or maybe you mean that the roof will indeed stop leaking with the second or 
third rain, just about the time the ants begin to seep in though the floor.  
That something always picks up, something always leaves off.

But anyway, let’s not talk of it just now, not while the orphaned autumn 
dies so exquisitely and it’s dark so early and the winter guests are just 

-- Barry Peterson