Not for Burning

I come across your old letters,
the words still clinging to the page,
holding onto their places patiently,
with no intention of abandoning
the white spaces. They say
that you will always love me,
and reading them again, I almost
believe it, but I suspect that
they are heretics, that later,
in the fire, they will deny it all.
Then I remember something I once
read (my memory is filled with voices
of the dead): that it is a heretic which
makes the fire, and that I am more guilty
than your words, poor pilgrims who trusted
the road you sent them down and kept
severely to the way. I forgive them;
I let them live to proclaim freely what
they thought would always be true.

Joyce Sutphen / Coming Back to the Body

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