Prologue: Let it Burn

I write a lot of poetry, but I rarely share it or attempt to publish it.  Recently, though, I read a poem to a writing group.  As I listened to myself, I realized that the work just felt like prose.  My partners agreed, and it even occurred to me that it sounded like an intriguing prologue for one of my new projects. 

So here it is.  The would-be poem that became prose that may be a prologue.  Hope you like it.


Heartbreak should always come with locked doors, burned bridges, and houses flooded with tears.  It should come with a hurricane, a tsunami, a tornado.  A certain natural disaster that destroys everything that came before, so that we have no choice but to rebuild.

What do we do with whispers of endings?  With those quiet, muted, drawn-out masterpieces of stolen life and art?  Where do we put the remnants when they don’t fit neatly into boxes and dark closets?  Or when we still want to gaze mournfully at what’s left behind?

Yes, this is why endings should always be permanent — black ink on white paper, a scar from the kindergarten playground, a tattoo deep under the skin.

This is how we repair, how we build up, how we reconstruct the bruised and battered components of a heart.  Of a life.

But here I sit, the cremains of an ending still warm in my brown hands.  The sun is bright on my face, and I smell summer.  But I breathe in the ash and bone and sinew and muscle of what we were, willing it—crying for it—to breathe along with me.