reasons to burn

i.

no water in the line
there is no water in the line
there is no water in the line
for bodies on the land

there is no water in the line
there is no water in the line
there is no water in the line
just bodies on the land

there are bodies on the land
there are bodies on the land

come and drink the water
come and drink the water
come and drink the water
does it burn
does it burn

come and drink the water
come and drink the water
come and drink the water
does it burn
does it burn

ii.

I have things to burn     this body     already alight     these words     ashen
and weightless     and offering themselves like dancers to darkened sky
this quickening clock     this tightened yolk     this ship     that will not port
and will not port     these borders     and the walls that would enforce them
this frozen tongue     these slow feet     this stage     this pen    this quiet voice

I will make a fuel of them

Better than bitchumen     better than petrol
Better than elephant tusk     or drug lust
I filled myself with false fire once
only blinking before I was emptied again
I have put acres of rainforest up my own nose
Burned money on clothes     I did not wear
Charred myself     throat-to-belly     with firewater that would not
extinguish a match and I have been thirsty     ignorant     naive but not
innocent     complicit and complacent     I have been
and seen time wasted

There are no renewable resources

Not water     not shorelines     not a hundred little boys in wet
red sweaters     not tradition     not treaty
not native tongue     or trust     or thirst

iii.

Everything can burn

I learn this
watching water ignite from kitchen faucet.

I learn this
watching a man     once mountain     reduced to carbon

Everything can burn

and all of us turn either to ash
or to dust

If fire is either lust or love
then I want to stop dousing myself in gasoline
as a cheap party trick

There are reasons to burn
and we have plenty

Let me make of my words a fire
a purpose
a front line
a service
a choir
an engine
the matches
and the urn