Burn

(Bruce Enloe, June 2020)

Do I want to burn it all down? Of course I do
I am already drinking black acrid smoke from the fire
Blinking back tears stinging cheeks with the toxic hot air of protest
Racing with red mobs bleeding through streets, stealing
Metallic taste stabbing my tongue and my teeth

Do I want to burn it all down? Of course I do
I have seen the bottom, dark and lifeless
Bent rebar rubble, smouldering black
Charred and dead, dark plastic airplane fuel peeling off bodies
Piled in trenches, twisted, rigor morted
Skies raining flame-throwing hailstorms and hate
on a Tuesday

Do I want to Burn it all down? Of course I do
I wanted it first and I wanted it harder
With every bulging appendage of my
Bloated fat body burdened by this diet of only the finest white shit
Our father’s poison prayer promising:
‘us… over them’
‘us… over them’
‘us… over them’
And so on forever

Do I want to burn it all down? Of course I do
But some sick fucking monster has already killed me, and I’m dead from blows struck at the base my bloodline
Before I could choose to be born

Do I want to burn it all down? Of course I do
But it’s already burned and I’m nothing but ashes
Smudged on a window obscuring a scene of something beyond this, elusive and organized, ordered and clean
I wonder what else is up next on TV?

Do I want to burn it all down? Of course I do
Pass me the matches, pass me the gas
Pass me the kindling and then

Later… after…

Pass me the hammer, the nails, and three boards — pine, cypress, and cedar
And please… this time, let’s try to make damn sure that dirty white bastard stays dead.