The Temperature of Burning Books


I want to read
and I want to write.
But just that isn't enough.
I want to find the words that changed people.
Where is Uncle Tom's Cabin and 1984?
I want the words that offended
And began civil wars
And led the people to riot
And the government to make glorious sacrifices
To the stars and moon
Of these dead trees with black ink
Spilled all over
That turned red when the flames got past the cover
To the meat inside.
I want to find the words that burned the world,
The words that changed society,
The words that were wildfire,
Spreading,
Racing,
Coursing,
Burning everything they touch
And leaving a whiff of smoke
Because change can only happen
On a molecular level
And I have always wanted
To write fire.

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