Burning the Journals by Susan McLean

Burning the Journals

Alixa shocked me when she said she’d burned
her journals. All those insights, lost. And yet
each time I’d kept a journal, I soon learned
someone had read it. Wary of the threat
of having candor peeled off like a scab,
exposing raw and stinging sores, I’d sworn
never to bare my secrets to the stab
of prying malice. I could not have borne
having each vagrant thought and wayward mood
viewed with amusement, prurience, or scorn,
like those whose webcams, hijacked, film them nude,
turning unguarded love to vengeful porn.
So now I light a match to every day,
and what I felt then, only I can say.

by Susan McLean

Editor’s Note: The speaker opens this sonnet as if it were a conversation with a friend who knows exactly who Alixa is… The reader becomes a friend, and thus the personal nature of the poem draws one inside the speaker’s ruminations.