To Burn a Bridge

A poem.

To Burn a Bridge.

I’m alone. The only thing to keep my company, 

Keeping me warm, is the rage in my gut.

I light the match, and it echoes my anger.

My eyes are glued to the flame. 

I could drop it, burn away the overpass 

that leads me to them. Until there is nothing left 

but memories and ash. Severing the cord, forever.

The flame burns its way down to my fingertips.

I don’t flinch. I welcome the pain. 

The flame burns out, just like me. 

Tired, exhausted. Nothing left to give.

I light another match. 

When is it enough?  When is it too much? 

I watch as the match burns out, dropping it at the last second. 

It falls to the ground, burnt. So I light another. 

A sob escapes me, and I think about dropping the match. 

Don’t, he says. 

He is the voice of reason,

The tether that connects us all.

I clench my jaw, and tighten my grip. 

This is hurting you, he speaks. 

But what does he know. 

Hastily, I light another match. 

Don’t let it drop, he pleads. 

I look up, over the bridge that separates us. 

Me, from them. Those that I care for, those that leave me with questions.

It would be so easy to wash my hands of it all, to let it all burn. 

To be like smoke, something they can’t hold on to. Or harm. 

Don’t wash it all away, he urges. 

He is the voice of reason. The calm in the storm.

So for the night, I light another match.

Watching until one burns out, just to light another.

Tempting fate.  

Hoping that one spark will ignite it all. 

But praying that the bridge, never actually burns. 

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