September 19, 2006

Burning Love Letters

I'll burn your love letters today,
even the hand-written ones,
the crinkled testaments to our
old-fashioned passion.

I lay them, each,
into a shining, silver bowl,
almost-white almost-virgins
to the slaughter,

and then, I strike the match
and kiss them, lightly, deftly
with the flame.

Their bodies writhe, each in its turn,
in graceful, splendid agonies, like Joan of Arc
in de Sade's wettest dreams.

Devoured slowly-swiftly by
the orange echoes
of that gentle kiss,

their edges turn so dangerously fragile,
and curl upward
in abject penitence and supplication,

and when the flame goes cold,
the grey skeleton
so gnarled and brittle-looking in the unmoved silver bowl
still bears the traces of the once-warm words.

I read, warming in anger
and remembered lust,
"I need you," and
"my love," and finally,
"forgive me if you"

cannot bear it anymore,
and I place my fingers on the shadow paper,
obliterating dead love like a hapless ant.

It is surprisingly soft to the touch,
for it is only dust
held together by the force
of habit
and the shock
of sudden emptiness.

I burned your love letters today,
even the hand-written ones,
the crumbled testaments to our
ill-fated passion. It's only fair
to let their corpses decompose
at last.

Spring 2006.

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