By Mark Belair

Down the dark beach, a petite
pop of fireworks
charms the cool summer night
with a low, all-white glitter
that can’t compare
to the sky-wide explosions of color
in the State Park on the Fourth of July.

But it’s not the Fourth,
the secluded display
shot for the sheer, sparkly
rush of it, its aftermath
not a large, buzzing, scattering crowd
but—as we return to its deepened quiet—
the star-gathering night.



Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His latest collection is Watching Ourselves (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Previous collections include Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015); Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times. Please visit

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