Burning the Book
by Ron Koertge
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
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.
The children stand with their mouths
I can see nouns—longing, rapture, bliss—
land on every tongue, then disappear.
About the Author:
Ron Koertge is an American poet who lives in Pasadena.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright © 2012 by Ron Koertge, whose most recent book of poems is Fever, Red Hen Press, 2006. Poem reprinted by permission of Ron Koertge.