6. The Past Described, As a Figure
from The Book of Isaac, Burning
What were those days like? Remembering
is like remembering
white, or water. It’s another resemblance,
the libraries packed
with broken metaphors, book after book filled
with “water is like…”,
“white as…” When Alexandria caught fire,
the librarians burned like candles,
like suet. As for the manuscripts and their similes,
nothing was lost – it was like a fire.
“6. The Past Described, As a Figure” (from The Book of Isaac, Burning) was first published in The Paris Review, Spring, 2003.