We Should Be Anvils

Jeff Burt


Ceasing fire
is not like dousing the wood
so that it cannot be lit
or stomping the leaves
until they disintegrate  
beneath your boot,
when the bullets of hostility
remain in the clips of your teeth.
Like tongs holding molten iron, 
our lips must restrain
the scorching words our tongues  
have wish to brand,
resist igneous language  
like an anvil
bears the beating
to shape the bars of speech
into tools of understanding, 
smooth and levered, 
to do the work
the heat had first intended.

Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, with his wife and a July abundance of plums. He works in mental health. He has work in The Watershed Review, Atticus Review, The Nervous Breaksdown, and won the 2017 narrative poetry prize of Cold Mountain Review.

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