Lower East Side, July 4th

Tonight, fireworks will explode over this steaming city. I’ll drink a Cosmo out of a plastic straw, clink my glass, toast to some kind of freedom. The stars are usually hidden, but tonight the city will make them, because Manhattan can do that. Falling stars, moving pictures in the sky, dramatic climaxes. I’ll wear red lipstick named Wake Me; I’ll go swimming in a rooftop pool – sirens are silenced underwater. Tonight, fireworks will explode. My face will flush when I think about you – I know you’re not really gone; you’re downtown somewhere. Later, I’ll fall asleep alone, contemplating my independence.

Amy Schreibman Walter