~ for Phebus Etienne
I am reading your poem from a book that’s never been published. Your body is a book with a page ripped out. The story will never make sense again. My first instinct is to burn the book. Burn, baby, burn, I say. Let’s burn all of the books in my house. Words are not good enough today. I want the spines to snap and the pages to furl. Those glossy paperbacks, let their covers ignite into ash into confetti. Let the letters float upward toward heaven. I want you to see this living room bonfire from wherever you are. I am a castaway on an island burning the book of you to keep warm. Here it is, late afternoon, and what I want most is to crawl into the bottom of your poem, the only safe place I can go. But this is all a fiction. You are gone and this is how I grieve.