July 4th, 2018

This era of desperation breeds a palette of better patriotism, our
thieved hearts aluminum recyclables in the midst of a heatwave

rolling across Ohio, and it is true that such inspiration gnaws at
malleable love at such an intersection of life’s humble turntable

of destruction. I want to love my country; in this way, I drink to
brown it out, to fade the familiar affairs. I arrived at the morning

parade slurring words but kissed my friends’ cheeks. We huddled
in the shade waiting for the moment to pass, but it won’t until an

ultimate firework leaves us stranded with a framework, electric
in its ability to ignite. Blueberry the bartender transformed his

truck bed into a wading pool around which we barbecued and
danced, dipping into a camaraderie of bottles and hands, smoke

the ritualized haze of togetherness that allows us to continue.

(originally published in Botticelli Magazine, Spring 2019)