“You and I Are Disappearing”

Okay, I felt the need to rant because I am madly in love with this poem and Komunyakaa in general. I wish our discussion today could have continued because it is so interesting to me the different ways that this poem can be read! I love how some of the images of burning are fake or not literally burning, like dry ice, foxfire, and a shot of vodka. I also am swooning over the last line: “She burns like a burning bush driven by a godawful wind.” To me, this is Komunyakaa being cynical about the purpose of all of these innocent Vietnamese people having to die. Unlike Moses, who received a message from the burning bush and ultimately, the Ten Commandments, there was no distinct message in this girl’s death. He is commenting upon the fact that she burned but to what purpose? He portrays this frustration and confusion by calling the wind “godawful,” which is also a play on words considering that God spoke to Moses through the burning bush. Anyway, just a bit of ranting and obsession about this poem!

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