I Don’t Burn : Magazine : A Public Space

I Don’t Burn

Poetry Kevin Young

Dear Darkness—consider this
my last attempt

to reach you. My previous
few missives

having boomeranged back
unread, postmarks blurred

by the gloved hands
that tried carrying

them to your door.
Or, torn

by the machines.
I wish

you could see the water
here, so clear

you can see the bottom—
though that’s nothing

new for me. All afternoon
I let sun seep

my skin, steep me
like strong tea.

if you’ve moved

I wish you would
send word

or ring.
How I would sing

like a kettle to keep you.
No. 05

No. 05


​Kevin Young is the author of five books of poetry, most recently For the Confederate Dead (Knopf). He is Atticus Haygood Professor of Poetry at Emory University, where he organized the first major exhibition of the Danowski Poetry Library’s collection, which will be on display from January to May. A new book of elegies and odes will be published in the fall.


A Public Space is an independent, non-profit publisher of the award-winning literary and arts magazine; and A Public Space Books. Since 2006, under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes the mission of A Public Space has been to seek out and support overlooked and unclassifiable work.


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