poem index

Fireworks

by Cody Deitz
 

This evening, the sky looks like a party napkin:
fireworks in red and blue spider against the black 
 
backdrop of night. A Cessna motor buzzes, too, 
a giant June bug on and off the throttle, 
 
and I think about perspective,
what must, from up there, look like palm trees made of light 
 
growing in fast-forward and then exploding—absurd—
only two hundred years since the first men 
 
rose into the sky to see the sunrise a thousand feet up.
Two convicts almost had the honor, their expendability 
 
suddenly a blessing.  They would have seen the earth
like a cubist painting, its geometric divisions in color,
 
just a representation of order, like time, but heavier.
I have only a few days left to be twenty-four, 
 
before time moves inexorably forward, and tonight,
distance and time are starting to look alike, 
 
with the same lit-fuel tinge; this is what burnt time
must smell like, a melancholy 
 
singe that can’t help but excite.
Perhaps we’ve been breathing it in
 
so long we no longer detect its sharp scent
in the evening when the honeysuckle and citrus bloom.