bombs bursting in air


for well over a week now it has been fireworks season in detroit.

we schedule our official freedom fireworks to align with windsor’s celebration of canada day, for budgetary reasons i believe. then, from whenever that happens to be (usually a week or two before july 4) until independence day, fireworks are going off basically constantly.


this year the official fireworks were on monday, june 24. and it was quite beautiful from my vantage point on my friend dream’s fabulous rooftop. i had fresh watermelon whiskey cocktails and didn’t think too much on it.

but now, as i sit here reading the warmth of other suns and listening to laura mvula and generally having a beautiful black evening at home, it sounds like a war zone outside the window.


which i suppose is the most appropriate way for this day to sound.


it is a celebration of america, after all.

my mind is not still. i sit here thinking of the places, domestic and abroad, where explosions are not for fun or beauty. i think of all the places where bombs and other weapons made by the US create fatal thunder and flash bang lightning, a great jaw-dropping show of violent life or death all the time.

bang. bangbangbangbang.

i think of the last bright lights aiyana and trayvon and oscar and so many others saw.

i think of the lights and sounds in egypt today. coup fireworks.

i wonder what drones sound like, if they kill with any light or wonder.


i wonder who first saw beauty in bombs exploding.

one of my parallel selves, the ex-pat singing jazz in paris, twinges at me, ghost-limb-like. and i wonder if there is any place in the world where i might never hear these sounds again, nor feel this involuntary attempt of my intellect to shrink inside my skin.


is the hardest work of the american revolutionary to sit in the violence holding vision?


i need a meditation to lull myself to calm:

may the longing for war be sated in my species
may i learn to experience awe with no reference to death
may i retain my childlike wonder at light
may i sleep without fear