Originally posted July 4, 2015

In Adams Morgan, all pour downhill in search of a clear view of the southern sky. The throng crosses the street to peer around and over buildings. The street feels unbalanced. A ship in danger of capsizing. The driver of a Safeway truck honks to break through the crowd, who interpret it as celebratory. From an apartment above, an unseen player attempts a Jimi Hendrix style electric National Anthem.

South of Dupont the streets are empty. A helicopter hovers low overhead. Sirens in the distance. Explosions reflect and ricochet off glass walls.

In Bloomingdale, kids shoot rockets off at the corner. Regulars from the emptied-out bar nearby look on. “Next year we’ll buy a huge box of our own.”

In an Eckington alley, kids dance around fountains of green, blue, red sparks.

Above, from the parking lot of the high school on the hill, fireworks tower over the city. Each one a signal calling wanderers:

an old man steps out of an old car;
cyclists stop en route to an after-party on U Street;
strolling lovers approach holding hands.

All are moths to the light of one family quietly taking turns lighting fuses. A private ceremony igniting the city.

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