Let it burn

until all that is left

is a black crisp

of dehydrated exoskeleton jerky.

What do I care?

I did not create this place.

I did not ask to play this game.

I did not stuff the coal shafts.

I did not dig the oil wells.

I did not clamor for the goldmines.

I did not manifest destiny

across the desert

with a mind obsessed

on material diversions of the flesh.

Let it burn

until the stars in the sky

have nothing left

to shine down upon.

Let it burn

until the sun extinguishes

from its own

existential exhaustion.

What do I care?

I didn’t build the Model-T.

I didn’t pave the asphalt road.

I didn’t plan the concrete jungle.

I didn’t send the ships

across the sea

with hopes of New Atlantis

in the distance.

Let it burn

until Sherman’s fire

pales like a glow light in comparison.

Let it burn

until the Apocalypse

rises up in molten magma

through volcanic outburst tantrums.

What do I care?

I didn’t write the Holy Verses.

I wasn’t the one

inspired by God

to lie false prophecies

into the hearts and minds of Man.

I didn’t slaughter the natives.

I didn’t enslave other races.

I didn’t stomp on Pagan grounds.

I didn’t erect churches

atop conquered lands.

I didn’t start the wars.

I don’t need to finish the job

that other animals began.

Let it burn

until the flag is stripped

of blue and white stars and stripes

and all that remains is red.

Let it burn

as a beacon

atop the flaming hill

as a lesson about the fall.

What do I care?

I didn’t taste the forbidden fruit.

I didn’t kiss the serpent.

I didn’t fuck the liar.

I didn’t drink the venom.

I didn’t suck the poison.

I didn’t breed the cancer.

I didn’t dig the shallow grave.

Let it burn

until the bones are ash

and the marrow evaporates

into a chemical combustion revelation.

Let it burn.

Let it cry.

Let it whine.

Let it bitch.

Let it moan.

What do I care?

I didn’t promise it

a single damn thing.

I didn’t ask it to love me.

I didn’t need it to want me.

I didn’t beg it to birth me.

I didn’t buy the ticket.

I didn’t sign up for the ride.

Let it burn

until the plastic faces

are melted

on the Sunset Strip

and the haughty egos

catch flame on Boardwalk.

Let it burn

from the outside in

so the rotten core

is the last space to smolder into oblivion.

What do I care?

I didn’t come here to save the world.

I didn’t offer a quick fix resolution.

Let it burn.

The Phoenix is waiting in the wings.


by Scott Outlar


Scott Thomas Outlar survived the chaos of both the fire and the flood…barely. Now he spends the hours flowing and fluxing with the tide of the Tao River while laughing at and/or weeping over life’s existential nature. His words have appeared recently in venues such as Dissident Voice, Yellow Chair Review, Calliope Magazine, The First Line, and Harbinger Asylum.

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