He didn’t want to burn the house down, only himself 

Erase his existence from the family tree in an elegant plume of smoke 

But fires are a whole lot messier than that 

and unfortunately, family trees are highly flammable 

His misery caught ablaze, scorching the lives around him 

Previously muted, now on full blast

What good is it sweeping secrets under the rug if you’re just going to burn it

and leave the contents hanging out to dry

for all the neighbors to see

But sweeping and hiding gets really fucking old

too old

So burn, baby, burn

the books

the cats

the antiques, family heirlooms, and memories, 

the emptiness, loneliness, and apathy

Splash all the bullshit with gasoline and watch it catch

while it watched him

The walls that suffocated him for long began to crumble at last

and he along with them

Thick, dark smoke engulfed his vision

as it finally overwhelmed him


It is finally over

and yet it is only beginning 

Published by Alison Howe