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The Starkey Flythe, Jr., Memorial Prize, Winter 2017
Carrie Bailes
The 5th of July
Summer salted suntan skin
spreading wide across your shoulders
like a picnic blanket.

We’re clumsy puppies in the grass.
Watermelon sticky-kissed
and dripping in the warm of the weather.

You are such a big feeling.
Supposedly it’s what fireworks feel like
when they’re inside you,
but those are too loud and too far away.

You are here and close,
like the fireflies that fill
the thick night air in your backyard,
flickering with their impossible brightness,

capturing my imagination in a mason jar
and letting it quietly twirl around,
caught all up in your magic.

©2017 Carrie Bailes