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ILLUMINATIONS by Vivian Wagner

 

I’ve always wanted fireworks

I’ve always wanted fireworks
to be more than they are.
So a sphere,
why not a tree, with
branches cutting high into the night?
So a cascade of stars,
why not a writhing serpent?
So a burning sapphire ball,
why not a volcano, rupturing?
The industry has names
for its effects:
ring
palm
crossette
kamuro
peony
chrysanthemum
willow
fish
horsetail
spider.
The names promise so much,
calling to mind the worlds they might create.
In the end, though, they’re all
the same:
flash and brilliance,
light and pop,
a puff of sulfur smoke.
Better to wait for the
stars and planets to
speak their luminous names
into the quieting night.

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