Burning the Evidence of Our Existence

A matchbook lies on the table
between us next to the ashtray, dirty

with cigarettes. The one we stole
from the hotel in Rome, drunk

on chianti and moonshine. Drunk
on a story we told into extinction.

I’m done talking atonally.
I’ve emptied my pockets again.

What remains lies like a carcass
under the taxidermist’s knife.

Perhaps we will be stuffed, staggered
in a diorama. How blue a sky that never moves.

Or I will write us into some other form
of oblivion. Pinned to the page in black pen.

Scarabs encased. Crows on a line. Pheasants
inking a winter sky. Bang Bang. We’re dead.

I tear out the last match. Strike
a flame. Swear on singed fingers.

 

 

 

 

Heidi Seaborn is Executive Editor of Adroit Journal and author of Give a Girl Chaos (C&R Press/Mastodon Books, 2019) as well as two chapbooks. Since she started writing in 2016, she’s won or been shortlisted for over two dozen awards. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in various publications, including American Poetry Journal, Copper Nickel, Cortland Review, Greensboro Review, Missouri Review, The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith, and Tinderbox Poetry Review. She holds an MFA in Poetry from NYU. For additional information, visit www.heidiseabornpoet.com.