Conflagration – James Lepak

The pizza boxes we had accrued
Almost hit the ceiling. There were no dorms
With more collegiate hygiene.
The diet, the order, the sloth of bright
And horny teens bled out
Into our idealized décor.
What better sacrifice to make
Than this monument to the cusp
Of adulthood? We burned it all
In a pyre that excited solely
Because of its novelty,
And that it was our waste,
Our waste of health and time
And privilege underused.
The burning of our eyes in heaving smoke
Was joyous, as only the illusion of freedom
Can allow. Rob shouted,
“Fuck pizza!” and echolalia ensued.
You weren’t much in the spirit, Scott,
But you dutifully repeated,
And that chain of brotherhood
Was not broken by solemnity.
Pat was most aware
Of the nihilism we celebrated
And was therefore the happiest.
I saw the fire’s reflection
In all their eyes and loved
This projection from hearth
To man to world,
And did not care
The order in which it truly came.


JAMES LEPAK is an ESL instructor who enjoys reading and writing poetry in his spare time. His work has appeared in Isacoustic and Songs of Eretz Poetry Review.

Image via Pixabay

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