“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
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
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
And you ask if I think we might get back together?
Oh, I think not.
I burned that bridge.
Oct 27, 2001
Boynton Beach, FL
Happily alone again