What happens to the ghosts of fireworks?

That first night on the terrace,
I never even saw them trail off.

Your face was my afterglow.


And we would be eternity,

The sky’s chemical fizzle just a nasty lie.

We were fated for color and pop,

The global inhale of each new bloom.


Now your hips claim a crescent of space in the grass.

The boom of each Roman Candle is your memory.

I am not invited. I grasp for the remnants instead.

Without our twin gaze each flash is a parody.


For a moment all turns green and I see you reflected, three years old,

rustle-soft breath staring quick at the ladybug resting on your knee.

New rockets seize the stage and the shadows linger,

Old sparks snatched away to the horizon.


Why won’t you say my name?

What makes you vanish when I plead?

When did your shoulders turn strange?

Whose smile do you seek when the sky rains champagne?


Ghosts of the fireworks seep sullen into the bay.

The next morning, you taste like smoke.

Thumbnail courtesy Sehsuan at Wikimedia Commons.