On a Discharged Firework

(iStock photo/Claudiad)

Only the next day could
The mystery begin,
Its shocking fount of sparks
In darkness now a memory,
And the cooled cylinder
Drowsing on the charred smear
Of driveway. To approach
In the abandoned silence
And lift it up—which has,
You think, by someone been
Forbidden—and to smell
The singed gunpowder, rich
And sweet upon the nose.
The colored wrapper brittle,
Peels back and flakes away.
To strip with thumb and finger
The first and second layer
Of cardboard inlaid circles,
Their leading somewhere deep,
The ashen edges sifting
Down, powdering your knees,
In search of what ingenious
Center that caused it all,
Just hours ago, to flare
Up the obscurity
With brilliance and power
But seldom seen, and never
In that bare heat of daylight.

In search of what ingenious
Center that caused it all,
Just hours ago, to flare

Advertisement

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Poems

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis has appointed 16 members (eight men and eight women) to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 17, 2018
This time the victims themselves are not having it. From the moment the first shots rang out, they captured the horror and broadcast it, forced the nation to confront it and talk about it.
Kevin ClarkeFebruary 16, 2018

Given the moment we are in, you might think a lot of shows on television would be trying to talk about current events or “America” in some way. But in point of fact, there aren’t that many. And even fewer are doing it well.

Jim McDermottFebruary 16, 2018
A conversation with Liel Leibovitz and Stephanie Butnick on faith, fasting and podcasting
Olga SeguraFebruary 16, 2018