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We are famous friends, here to get drunk,

stoned, here for the fireworks,

the night of Independence Day.

Ovals spawning xeroxed ovals across a gassy sky,

each boom pursuing its fiery halo. Happy marriage!

someone cries. I do, I don’t,

I might someday. Here’s to the stars and bars!

To my bed, and you having nowhere else to go—

bring a kiss, not your clothes… To the sky!

bright as a bottle shard… To optimism,

and all the states, even the boring ones.

I know you… the skin graft on your cheek,

your lost dog, your can’t-sleep. I might as well

be your own hand. Jesus Christ!—

take off his ring, keep it off,

and put a ring on me.

from Charms Against LightningFind it in the library

Copyright © 2012 James Arthur
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in James Arthur Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.