you always brought the fireworks on the 4th of july.
in big paper bags
like they were groceries
packed in your corvette.
we'd start with the bottle rockets
watch them scream into the air
hoping the burning ashes wouldn't damage the neighbor's roof.
you lit cigarette after cigarette
until the roof of your mouth burned
and the sun went down.
on the 4th of july,
you always felt like living
so you brought us cracker jacks
and cherry bombs
and gave us sparklers.
we lit those and watched them sizzle
and we'd write our names in the air
and in the sky
because just for a second
it stayed there.
when the night got really black,
you told me to lay on the monkey bars and watch the show
and i did it for years
and the show never changed.
fire and gun powder.
I want to put all of this into the body of a rocket
and launch it out of an empty beer bottle
and watch it screaming towards a hot july moon.
we'd light firecrackers in the driveway
and you always made sure to tell me
"stand back, kate, you don't want to get burned"
i wondered if anyone ever told you that
because you got so close i could see the sparks in your pupils.
it would go out and we'd keep lighting more
until the pavement singed black.
it stained black
you burnt out faster then those fireworks
and you said you wanted the flames to eat your bones
so we watched your ashes
sink to the bottom of the bay.
i don't even buy fireworks anymore
i pay someone to light them for me
and i think it might have rained the last few years
and you can't light anything in the rain.