Bethany Reid, “The Temperature at Which Paper Burns”

I’m preparing for my reading at Hibulb Cultural Center tonight, and realized that I never let you know about this lovely publication, back in December. So — here’s a link — and an invitation to regularly visit Clementine Unbound.

Clementine Unbound

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The Temperature at Which Paper Burns

In the dream heaven was like “Fahrenheit 451”
that short story by Ray Bradbury a place
where someone has decided the past
was a mistake a minority of us choosing
to keep it anyway so one woman’s job
was to remember Dwight D. Eisenhower
and another Lyndon Baines Johnson
one assignment was to memorize
the Emancipation Proclamation another
the story of Marian Anderson and Eleanor
Roosevelt plus every note of “My Country
‘Tis of Thee” in the dream ours was
the American History cell or so it seemed
a whole contingent of us assigned Jefferson
and the Declaration and Sally Hemings
one group committing to memory
the native peoples before Columbus
on waking I almost lost heart seeing how
we are already living in an afterlife
where memory has ceased and children
wander the earth hard-wired to God
shouting hallelujah into their cellphones
my…

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3 thoughts on “Bethany Reid, “The Temperature at Which Paper Burns”

  1. Wow, Bethany! Thanks for the Temperature poem–and best luck for the reading. Wish I could be there instead of at work…

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