Capture the Moment


Small fires burn in the street
and the smell of gunpowder
permeates the night. Another
fourth of July, and I feel the old
pull of sadness for summers gone
past, the wish that if I tried hard
enough, I could shed myself and join
the sparklers that erupt in the sky,
that beauty could erase my weariness
and grief, that somehow the fires
would burn forever instead of just
on Independence Day. And all
my life would be consumed
in smoke, blotting out the sun,
leaving only traces of glittery
explosions, of all the spectacular
before it evaporates before my eyes.


Michelle Brooks has published a collection of poetry Make Yourself Small (Backwaters Press) and a novella Dead Girl, Live Boy (Storylandia Press). Her poetry collection Pretty in A Hard Way was published by Finishing Line Press in 2019. Her collection The Pretend Life was published in February 2020 by Atmosphere Press. A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit.

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