Sparklers and orange bloom flowers that only shine at night and wake in the dawn with light and furious colour like the fourth of July, crackling steak on metal smoke and seeping juices, screaming meat rare, just as you like it, on this, our independence day (everybody cheer) or was it the eleventh? I forget such things now and then surely, it's the eleventh for them over there, playing in the sandpit and the eleventh hour, no less. Tell me did you see the game?
Enfield punches the ground, wheels throw up muddy rainbows from where they sank with the rain. The rider, some fresh young college thing, flinches as it ricochets off his goggles, then unsteadily pulls away wrestling with this strange machine. The old blokes laugh with their propane cookers and badger-stripe beards, slick with bacon grease and spit. Outside the beer tent a kid fingers an old blues tune on a scarred and beaten acoustic. Coins thrown into an old railway cap, her grandfather’s smile golden in the sunrise.
I saw you, the summer child lying in a bathtub filled with stars while clouds spread through water. Reddish, pinkish lips stood out on skin the colour of pollen, ash spreading, staining water. The stars I learned were razor blades I cut myself as I pulled you out and ash slipped through my fingers.
Midday come early on Sunday morning you should’ve seen the basket that they tossed you in, covered with roses, perfumed and veiled you would’ve liked my speech, I hope. You would’ve liked his eyes. He’ll worship you, I know. He’ll make a pilgrimage every Sunday that would make a novice blush in envy, but for love he’d follow you, his angel all the way down with communion ‘till he’s sick, I hope you’re proud.
The sick green lights are off. The takeaway was eaten hours ago it seems. The bottles are half empty. The hourglass half full. The clock is reading: TWO AM. The movie is boring, she paces across the room, crushing wrapping paper beneath her feet. Her lover is upstairs, sleeping soundly, she will leave before the week is up, and the moments… Every second a knocking. Every minute a nail. There's some baileys on the mantelpiece it tastes strong and long and sweet. She turns the fairy lights back on and basks in Christmas Day.
See the flower girls go by holding petals up to god holding hands before the lords and shouting out “come buy”. they dip their pens and write in pollen they offer crimson roses for a fiver, see them take a knife and form the petal into the perfect, imperfect shape of a star.
See the crowds that gather round and coo and cry in awe at such beauty and such artistry see them cheering at the sound of dripping life from dripping fingers slick and wet and red.
for a fiver see them the maddened flower girls holding hands before the lords and shouting out “come buy”