A Cold Fire

The black, shined boots
stand feet from the fire,
hundreds of them in a circle
and laughter marches
through the lightless night.

In the fire, pages curl,
lashed by tongues of flame
ink runs like a red river,
and makes the smoke black
as it grows upward
into the empty sky.

Every word,
every disagreeable,
blasphemous word
wants to cry out
as the inferno devours it.

In their last moments,
the tragedies weep,
the comedies cackle,
and the histories reflect.
The words of poets and thinkers,
of revolutionaries
and architects of dreams,
are laid to rest,
here on this funeral pyre.

















These books must be burned.
Others may be rewritten, and perhaps
some only need a few pages taken out.

The flame burns here too,
in my eyes as I watch.
Them in the valley,
me on the hill.
The faint sound of laughter
stumbles through the night
and finds its way clumsily to my ear.

And they seem comfortable,
joyful even.
But I don’t think I’ll join them.

No I won’t trade my cold sacred night,
for the ignorant warmth of their fire.





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