I post this poem every year. And by the way, I hate fireworks. They’re stupid and they upset my dogs, and where I live it’s legal to stand around in the cul-de-sac like a moron and shoot these idiotic explosives into the sky while simultaneously downing copious amounts of Natural Light and keeping the kids up way past their bedtime. God bless America. OK, I’m not actually this surly. I’m only partially serious.
Fifth of July
The streets are sharded with bits
of confetti, petty patriotic explosions.
The neighbors are still asleep, tucked beneath
what’s left of the gray haze hovered over
their driveways, their skin singed with sweat
and sulphur. Backyard dogs react
to a distant siren, their howl like rust
on a chain-link gate, like sparks
from a blacksmith’s hammer.
When they are done, the dawn
is heavy with calm. Neatly numbered curbs
prop amber toppled bottles. Trash bags,
tarry-black, collapse on the grass.
One rubber sandal in the center
of the road, elastic casualty
of a manufactured battle, points
its open toes towards concession.