4 July 01

We think all those boys are replaced by their names
engraved on a wall, a parade, a video clip,
a tee shirt, a cheap plastic flag, or the claim
fireworks make at night. Later we slip

quietly between bought sheets, uncertain of dates,
dying into millennial quarrels. July ozone
oozes in windows while the occasional late
cherry bomb explodes -- we sleep past the well-known

adage about history. The best holidays
happen on weekends: drunks on highways keep
excess population controlled. Pyrotechnics replay
on every channel, while even houseflies sleep

unaware they once were maggots. One-day patriots share
this ignorance --and the flag is still there.