Shame is a cloak I pulled over myself,
that day in the garden.
I wrapped it round my body and covered my face with its length.
A snake spoke to me that day,
and said there'd no longer be anything hidden from me
if I bit into the juice of the fruit
on the tree.
That was when I pulled on the cloak and wept within
seeking solace behind the leaves.
Both of us were there,
and when our Lover walked up beside us,
that was when I covered myself with its length.
Its black reached over my head and covered my body,
keeping me safe.
Our Lover asked why we were hiding
and we told him that we wore no clothes.
He came to us with clothing in his hands
and he covered me.
I was already covered. The black stretched around and over, beneath the leather he gave me.
A long time later,
I learned that my cloak had a name,
It was payment,
given for eating the fruit;
I ate, and I received the cloak.
I have thought about that day many times.
I know now: that day I forgot who I was.
That was what happened, you see.
Shame is a shroud over truth.
When I tasted the juice and swallowed the bite,
that was when I found the cloak, draped over my shoulders.
Smoothed down, creases pressed out.
The wicked face grins into my memory. The slivered tongue, straightening the darkened edges, fingers soft and grating.
The garden was so long ago,
and only now am I realising what the whole thing really meant.
How we both hid in the trees --
The cloak stripped us of the memory of our identities.
We hid in the trees because we forgot who we were.
We believed we were corrupt.
We believed we were unwanted.
We believed we were worthless.
We believed we were insignificant.
We believed we were useless.
We believed we were deprived.
We believed we were controlled.
We believed we were lost.
You want to know why we didn't take off the cloak
when our Lover asked us where we were,
why we didn't explain the cloak
when he gave us clothes to wear.
We thought that we were the cloak,
and we could not take off ourselves.
It is the first time since the garden
that I have realised:
I am not the cloak.
The instant the cloak was around my shoulders,
I believed it was within my heart,
spilling over my soul.
This is the lie I believed
since creation's earliest days.
Two pages of stone
re-wrote what our Lover had spoken to me,
about not eating the fruit of the tree.
I tried reaching out through the cloak
for redemption's list,
but it grew thicker
and its blackness
I wore the cloak
generation after generation,
and one evening,
We met our Lover again
in the garden.
I asked him why he had come.
He pointed to the hole in my heart,
the blood that ran down,
seeped into stain.
Generation after generation
I have wept silently
for who I am.
I have worn the cloak of shame
believing it was demonstrative of my identity.
As we spoke,
for the first time
in thousands of years,
hundreds of people surrounded
our Lover and me.
They held rocks and held me fast
and told our Lover
where they'd found me.
I remembered when I hid from him in the trees,
how I refused to come to him.
Generation after generation,
my cloak has kept me from returning to
As the people surrounded me,
rock gritty between their fingertips,
our Lover spoke
as if he saw something beyond me.
He bent and knelt in the sand,
the stuff of rock,
and he wrote.
He spoke. 'The sinless among you, go first.'
I watched as each walked away,
and I realised in that moment
that they too
wore cloaks of shame
that they believed were their identity.
They shuffled away...
I sat at his feet
before him in my cloak of shame
that I believed was the whole of me.
And I wondered what I was doing
before him like this.
The weeping grew louder inside
and I put my face in the dust
then tears fell out
and made mud.
Both of us
constantly become strangers again...
now our Lover is bowed
and I realise all I mask;
desperation, loneliness, fear;
is all I was made to pour out
to our Lover.
The next time I see him
we are at the tree again.
With his eyes, he motions to my heart,
to its hole.
Tilts his head to his hands.
Iron hammered through.
They say, that day
a veil tore, from sky's grip to the ground.
All these generations
our Lover knew the hole in my heart.
Shame is a shroud over truth,
and I wore shame like it was who I'd become,
a cloak that dripped into every fibre of my being.
Our Lover saw the truth,
the hole in my heart.
Blood running through iron,
against the tree where I sought to find everything,
our Lover speaks:
Then I know.
He has never seen the cloak.
The cloak was what I saw when I forgot who I was.
our Lover presses his hand against my heart.
our Lover reminds me who I am.