It's getting dark.
It was two years ago Adam and I were supposed to go to the Iowa State Fair with my parents and watch the fireworks. My boyfriend, me, my parents. All watching fireworks.
The fireworks, the fireworks, the fireworks, I would writhe, lying on my back in the same position I am now, we were s'posed to see the fireworks. I would stick the heels of my hands in my eyes and think of all the times we wouldn't spend together and crawl to the bathroom when I had to pee. I couldn't walk. I could despair. I just wanted to see the fireworks with him.
Two weeks later at Hog Wild Days he sat in this 9:30 darkness with a new girl between his familiar tattooed arms and I sat with menstrual cramps, on a curb, with my friends, watching the fireworks and writhing. Empty and with a hollow so hollow it wasn't just hollow it was excruciating. Devouring. And smiling up at fireworks. Red and like carnations they exploded and I smiled and tried to enjoy them and life because I like both but my hollow was excruciating and it felt like my smile was excruciating and sliding off my face like blood from a nose bleed. And the red carnations were exploding and I was wishing the red fire tendrils would rain down onto me. With every explosion and pop like popcorn I imagined it landing in my eyes and being blind and dead and done and no more hollow. No more.
Laying on my back, I hear the first test booms for them to start soon. Y'know, I love fireworks.
One month later, the cause of our break up sat next to me on the Cedar River shore at the Freedom Festival. My house was terrifying the day after it was broken into and Matt was staying with me so I wouldn't be afraid. Killing time until darkness, we happened upon the festival, hopped over the gate and rested on the patch of grass and heard talk of fireworks. We talked of friends. We were friends. Best friends. We watched the best fireworks of the summer. No bugs. Perfect view. Perfect weather. Perfect company. Went home and slept in the same uncomfortable bed without touching each other. Best friends. Best fireworks.
Seasons changed, friends changed, and soon when we slept his lips were on my neck. No fireworks in winter but we walked on icy bridges and talked of our wedding reception. Guns N' Roses, tee shirts and jeans, and buffalo wings were mentioned as necessities.
Seasons changed, love changed, and soon I slept alone. Friends tried to fill the hollow and we played in Lake Michigan as 4th of July fireworks exploded like gold carnations over the water but I walked home with sleepy, sandy, sullen feet.
It's raining the glittering red fire of exploding carnations somewhere I'm not. I can hear it. My loved ones haven't called. I've left excited messages, saying fireworks excite me may I lay my head on your shoulder and watch them and only my best friend has called to tell me she's at a party. My boyfriend Brandon is there.
"He's playing cards. and kissing Abby."
Somewhere children's mouths are gaping at these exploding flowers. I can hear the booms. No writhing and no hollow as I lay on my back. I listen to them, far away, existing like a star for a moment before becoming forgotten smoke, alone and in the dark, the girl with perfect posture, a high chin, cynical eyes, and a warm heart replaced by a hard one.

My dad tells me later the fireworks weren't that good.