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fireworks This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

the roughness of concrete against my palms
was enough to keep me grounded.
my intent had been to lift my spirits,
but I hadn’t meant for them to drift into the darkening clouds.

fireworks exploded against a black canvas,
louder and more chaotic than my thoughts,
but more calming than hysteric crying.
gluing my eyes to them, cool air drew goosebumps from my skin.

you’d hated celebrations, you’d loathed festivities,
but fourth of July was something that didn’t remind me of you.
you killed my fun -- that’s an understatement --
you beat my fun to a pulp, pulled out its organs and. . .

oxygen flooded into my lungs.
the concrete was the only one holding me then.
my retinas were washed with color,
and for a moment, or three,

i remembered happiness didn’t involve you,
and my spirits were lifted to the moon. 

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