The 4th of July
by James Wyshynski

  1. I dump two decades of tax returns
  2. into the black bowl of my old grill.
  1. Doused in lighter fluid the pages sag,
  2. cling to each other. I roll a 1040EZ
  1. from pre-wife, pre-kids, pre-mortgage
  2. into a tube, light it as if it were a giant
  1. joint and lay it on top. Who knew
  2. what beauty lay locked in the tinder
  1. of those dry forms? In the heat, the pages
  2. arc into curls. I see my first love,
  1. the curve of her bare back, arched
  2. as she reaches for a book on the top shelf.
Packingtown Review – Vol.9, Fall 2017

James Wyshynski received his MFA from the University of Alabama. He is a former editor of the Black Warrior Review. His poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Terminus, River Styx, Interim, The Chattahoochee Review, Northeast Corridor and others. He currently lives and works in Marietta, Georgia.

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