So now fire is a season.

We anticipate the burning-

clear the brush and broken twigs

One hundred foot clearance

to keep our homes safe from ruin.

And there’s the curious practice of backburning:

Set a fire to stop a fire.

Do the damage yourself

to control what gets destroyed.

So when I evacuate myself

from every conversation that shows promise,

when I admonish “don’t send that text

don’t make that joke

just chill out a little bit, you idiot”

and then I do it anyway

it is, in a way, a form of control

to keep the charred remnants of my heart

from burning all the way to ash