Burning Bridges

“Don’t you think

There’s a chance you’ll go back. . .

That you’ll get back together?”

No, I crossed that bridge.

I kept walking, too,

To put it all behind me.

Then I stopped and thought about it

For a minute or two.

Then went back

To stare at that bridge.

Maybe I thought about crossing it again.

But the more I thought

The more it seemed

Like pissing in the wind.

So I used a chainsaw on the supports.

Cutting each one with care.

When it fell

I took an axe to remains,

Chopping until I was weary

And the sweat ran into my eyes

Until it was just little pieces.

Strewn here and there.

Then I took a steamroller

And in a frenzy I mashed all the pieces

Into not much more than toothpicks.

Next I scraped all the little bits

And slivers

Into a big pile.

It was a good-sized pile still.

So I poured gasoline,

High octane, of course,

Until it was soaked

Through and through.

By then night had fallen

And as a beautiful blue moon rose in the clear sky

I drank a bottle of our favorite wine

Without benefit of glass or even a paper cup.

Good to the last drop.

When that last drop joined the rest

I refilled the bottle with gasoline

And took a bit of cloth

That I ripped from your favorite shirt

And pushed it into the mouth of the bottle

Leaving a few inches hanging out.

With a match, I lit the cloth

And threw the bottle with all my strength

To arch gracefully across the sky

Until it burst with a brilliant flash

Against the wooden ruins

Which quickly produced waves of flame

Reaching to the sky.

It was a glorious fire

Beneath the blue moon.

I listened to the crackling embers

For hours filled with the peace

That comes from a good Rhine wine.

I may have even sung a song or two

As I have been known to do

Blue songs

Never to be mistaken for the blues

For even though they have similar roots

They are far from the same.

There were no songs

Like “She Hotwired My Heart

And Drove Me To the Poorhouse.”

No, it was more likely to have been

One of those old tearjerkers

I grew up with

The ones that come from quarters

Dropped in neon-lit machines

In dimly lit bars.

As always the quarters run out

And the songs stop.

When the flames died and it started to smolder

I stirred the ashes to make sure it all burned

Every tiny minute piece.

It was near morning before the ashes cooled.

I gathered them and tossed them

Into the beautiful green waters of the river

Not far from the sea.

I watched as they swirled

And floated on the currents

To slowly mix and blend

As they moved slowly to sea.

When they reached the sea

They dispersed in the currents

And began to drift with the streams

That would take them from continent to continent.

Some miniscule bits settling to the ocean floor

Here and there.

Some washing up on distant shores.

Others floating, weaving through the streams

Of current forever.

Now mere molecules

Tiny bits in the vast, vast seas.

No two pieces anywhere near

One another.

And you ask if I think we might get back together?

Oh, I think not.

I burned that bridge.


Oct 27, 2001

Candlelight Inn

Room 5

Boynton Beach, FL

3:45 P.M.

Saturday afternoon

Happily alone again