A night sky turned gray

The illegal fireworks are winding down. In the distance, the popping echoes against the hills. Green and pink flashes. These aren’t professionals, these are fathers on the streets buying hundreds of dollars worth of explosives from trailers in the Volunteers of America parking lot. And next to that is the Bank of America and in between in the dollar store, the all white gas station, the empty lot. Crown Fried Chicken selling money orders.

The sulfur wafts through the windows. The doves are gone. I think I hear sparrows, but it’s the squeak of the silver retro fan I’ve had since college. Yesterday, I vacuumed dust hanging off the bars like gray moss. My basil is still alive in the window sill, my pansies on the balcony are not. But I have one red cherry tomato and more greens on the way. The white flowers withered, browned produce the sweetest fruit. I love the stick of tomato leaves on my fingers, the earthy, husky, spice sweet.

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