The Quick and the Nude

a sonnet

A message from beyond the grave I give, 

a lesson learned by one who dwelt in fear:
Your body is your home. You cannot live
but through it, in it. Breath and blood hold dear!

You have but one life, friends: know this is true. 
So chest, and arms, and legs do not constrain.
Before the coffin covers all of you,
expose yourself to sun, sand, wind, and rain. 

For when all’s left is portrait laid in bone,
what purpose dress, as only heft and mesh?
What garments be these epitaphs in stone
for triumphs reached and heartbreaks felt in flesh?

I say to those who yet live on this earth:
Wear clothes no more than what you wore at birth. 

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