Some Anniversaries

I turned 32 four days ago.  One year ago, I was on Fort Lauderdale Beach, feeling and the sky crackle with sparks, weighed down with lead.  I don’t know that girl now.  She died that day.  I won’t mourn her.

With Effort

I tried, that 4th of July,
the fireworks suicide bright,
the concussive flash
and the smell of burnt:
burnt sky, burnt aluminum & magnesium,
burnt gunpowder, burnt rubber.
I tried to add one more:
burnt flesh,
hoped to push through the grille
of that Ford F-250
to cook on its diesel engine
as I rounded the corner.
I tried.


They tried 
out on the barge, but the
mortar never hit air,
ground-bound, but not aborted,
and it lit the water low,
just like the sparks that flew
as the truck’s tow chains dragged tar
and the brakes squealed
before my bicycle.


But I drew another breath,
and stood under
a sky blooming with
funeral flowers
calcium chloride chrysanthemums,
lithium carbonate dahlias.
I couldn’t hear the shouts
over the reports and crackle,
mouths flapping silent
as I dismounted
the bike, walked numb
to the curb.


And when it was over,
smoke rising away,
it left something 
wanting.

But I tried.

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