and the pines became glowsticks

The few of us who stood

before the finale exploded

over the lake (casting

fairytale rainbows in

forest canopies)

noticed the putrid smell

of weed from somewhere

behind us and they told

me (a novice in these things)

“That’s weed, take note,”

and my nostrils said


and my nostrils said

“how putrid,”

while my mind said

“amazing, this life,”

and we turned back

for the show.

We saw the finale

and rewatched it

on a friend’s cameraphone

in blur and static, eerily

feeling the piratical edge

of this act, the resistance

explosives levied against

electronic entrapment.

The darkness made everything

later, everything sleepier

as watchers became


camp chairs and coolers

disappearing, folding away

into their normal crevasses,

unseen yet ever-ready.

Sulfur’s distant aroma

and smoke from burnt fireworks

lingered as we left.

Suddenly, gathered hundreds

became individuals,

all of us strangers.


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