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          July 4th
          By Annette Basalyga

          I am the guest here for the fireworks.
          After clams and steaks after gin
          after the mistakes of too much sun and small talk
          this local annual display.

          On blankets and beach chairs we look across the bay
          waiting to be amused

          to close the day with something definite.
          The police boats cruise.
          The flares go up opening the sky to speculation.
          Did that one fall inland?
          I wonder how much all this costs.
          The loudest yet goes off. A child screams
          you're dead you're dead. Everyone laughs.

          My dear something out there is measuring me.
          It's round and colorless it orbits
          like the possibility of loss.
          I scare myself with it. I want you here
          where nobody talks about the war
          where nobody suggests what risks and patterns
          we vacation from. I like the shapes
          that can't be guessed or second-guessed
          until they've run their course.

          Under such skies closing
          on steady natural stars
          we are friends who know

          the short cuts back to rented places
          and novels that we wouldn't read at home.

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Document last modified on: 04/02/2006

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