Sparklers

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Sparklers
by B. Crooker

We’re writing our names with sizzles of light
to celebrate the fourth. I use the loops of cursive,
make a big B like the sloping hills on the west side
of the lake. The rest, little a, r, one small b,
spit and fizz as they scratch the night. On the side
of the shack where we bought them, a handmade sign:
Trailer Full of Sparkles Ahead, and I imagine crazy
chrysanthemums, wheels of fire, glitter bouncing
off metal walls. Here, we keep tracing in tiny
pyrotechnics the letters we were given at birth,
branding them on the air. And though my mother’s
name has been erased now, I write it, too:
a big swooping I, a hissing s, an a that sighs
like her last breath, and then I ring
belle, belle, belle in the sulphuric smoky dark.

1 thought on “Sparklers

  1. Hits home! Fun and endearing capture of a small but memorable American experience, given added dimension by a personal one. Fine imagery: “sizzles of light,” “scratch the night,” “tracing in tiny pyrotechnics…branding them in the air,” “sulphuric smoky dark.”

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