Burn This

It would be a simple, if tedious, task
to gather the pages of apology,
testimony, confession and evidence,
the rebuttals, denials, the damning satire,
and cut them all into strips: finger-width
and half-a-finger-length, creased, gummed
and fed one by one into a rolling machine,
sprinkled with a measure of tobacco, licked
shut, and stacked ten by two into a box.

This poem would be the first to go,
perhaps even this strophe, curled tight
around a cable of tobacco-wire, struck
by a careless match and burning now,
the first to go uncurling through the air
or into my mouth, or caught and held
in the slow depleting glow, glowing,
gone; and with the pencil of my cigarette
I would write this poem again in ash.