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

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