Treasure Island

Ronald Koertge

(1940 / Illinois / United States)

Burning The Book


The anthology of love poems I bought
for a quarter is brittle, anyway, and comes
apart when I read it.
One at a time, I throw pages on the fire
and watch smoke make its way up
and out.
I'm almost to the index when I hear
a murmuring in the street. My neighbors
are watching it snow.
I put on my blue jacket and join them.
We like each other and push each other
away.
The children stand with their mouths
open.
I can see nouns - longing, rapture, bliss -
land on every tongue, then disappear.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

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