the lingering image of fireworks, a photographic negative imprinted into your vision, bright iridescent
confetti that stays with you even when you close your eyes long after the sparks have died, and only the
plumes of smoke populating the sky betray the fact that the closest thing to magic was there not long
before, and you treasure it, replaying the starbursts with your eyes squeezed shut, almost believing that
if you squint hard enough they won’t fade away, but, like all good things, they do, and you’re left
vacant, waiting for yet another year to unravel at your spindly fingertips like all of the others –
ephemeral as fireworks, your eyesight, your being – willing your cloudy eyes to be blinded once
more on another night like tonight, and maybe then you’ll finally be able to conduct the pyrotechnics
like lightning through your body, your heartbeat keeping time with the percussive boom of each burst,
and the manmade starlight
will shimmer down from the deep blanket of night to alight your world-weary eyes
– yes, that’s where that youthful glimmer comes from –
and stay with you always.
About Haley McNiff
Haley is an English-Creative Writing major, Graphic Design minor, and Writing Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Though she loves both poetry and fiction, she considers herself more of a poet because she has commitment issues when it comes to long-form writing.
When she's not reading or writing something, you can find her curating extensive Spotify playlists, thinking about her cat, eating ramen, or jaywalking.