Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2018  Vol. 17 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Rethinking the Burning of Books

Regret is the only book I’ve ever
Burned: I threw it into the fire

As a useless text, and resolved
To stand still for awhile, and feel

The fire’s heat, and not even try
To resist. The path backward

Is overgrown anyway before we
Even reach its end. We already saw

Its sights and blistered our feet
And froze our asses off walking

There the first time. We know its
Start and stop. So why go back?

A bonfire built to burn regret
Destroys every pathway leading

Back, and wastes no energy lighting
Up the dark environs of the unknown

Future that lies beyond its flaming
Circle. Its message is fiery and

Stark—five syllables flaming
In the present tense: It is what it is.

A declaration, of sorts. A manifesto,
If you will. A way to live.  

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