Our city blew up last night, same as all the other cities, I’m told. The parking lot of the disused church next door gives a good vantage over our local sweep of the flats; an hour before sunset scattered rockets were already going up, but with real dark it became continuous, like an ocean striking shore and cresting everywhere in bright spray, from Point Pinole down to the Bay Bridge and Oakland container yards.
R., high on gunpowder, ran in circles in the dark, wearing the orange kimono that I bought her secondhand in Kyoto. She was bummed because the city had canceled the usual park festival where she gets painted with henna every year. So far this is her America.
“Technically,” she said, “the Fourth of July is also a holiday for peace, because isn’t it the end of a war?”
No, no, we said, it was the start of a war.
“Oh.” We watched the explosions a while longer. 花火 (flower-fire). Fuegos artificiales.