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The Starkey Flythe, Jr., Memorial Prize

Carrie Bailes
Greenville, SC

The 5th of July: List

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.

The 5th of July: Text
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