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Read me a poem + burn me with cigarettes

Read me a poem + burn me with cigarettes
Pillars of iron and rusy bolts wrap around me like the pillows and knitted blankets of my childhood fortress.

The ones Grandma made.
Before she was buried in this earth.

The air even smells the way the castle wall did after we'd unfold it from our cedar coffin.

A contradiction of arid and damp, wed when something has been stored away and forgotten.

People have that smell too.

It isn't coming from any of the blankets in these stone-marked storage boxes.  This cemetery is pure.

These corpses smell of nothing but limits and death.  This smell is reserved for the living.  The infinite.

Time releases me from hope and
I collapse atop her grave.

Our bodies stacked like bunk beds.

The plates of my mind hush into a state of arrested development.

Bones lowered, a contest of tectonic quality and public indecency, curling away from blades of freshly mowed grass wedging themselves between the fault lines of my neck.

I do not miss her.
I am not sure I even know how to.

But I did come here this morning missing you.

Because my heart is broken. I am alone.  And I feel forgotten.

Like the blankets Grandma made once made for us.

So much time and care into something we forced into our past and walked away from.

How could we have let it gather that smell?  After she granted us such kindness.  We loved it.  We loved her.

Did we break her heart too?

You were in this grave before I ever got here.  So was she.  Are our reasons the same?

I thought the next time I saw a cemetary it would be filled with poetry.

Moonlight gravestones.
Warm breeze.
Hot lips.
Tight pant.

But now it's just full of this goddamn stench.

I stop feeling sorry for myself long enough to light a cigarette, hoping it would mask the smell, then took a crushed book of poetry from my back pocket and read 'Faun' aloud.

After the last sentence, I stare wildly out into the holy shrine, as if God herself would have some commentary on how perfect Plath's words were, but all I heard was silence.

And it made me furious.

Like I was about my grandmother's blanket.

Like I am about how you treated us.

How could Sylvia put so much time and care into something we have forced into our past and walked away from?

How could God let this book of old poetry gather that smell?  After she granted us such kindness. I loved it!  God loved her!

Did we break HER heart too?

I take another drag of my cigarette and snuff it out into the flesh of my forearm.


Because we can love something and still lay it to ruin.

Because we can love someone and still store them away until their forgotten.

Because I knew in that moment, all I could do is care.

And I wanted a scar to remind me to.

A burn, from a cigarette, that was supposed to be given by you.
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Submitted by michaelo.16109 on June 14, 2021

2:40 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme x a xx x b c x d xx x x x ec c b a f e C x x xxxx x x x a d a f e C x b b x c c
Closest metre Iambic octameter
Characters 2,752
Words 529
Stanzas 36
Stanza Lengths 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 4, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

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    "Read me a poem + burn me with cigarettes" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/102772/read-me-a-poem-+-burn-me-with-cigarettes>.

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