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Poetry

What Is This Lightning

A poem by Zach Miller.

where is its sound
flashing out above the whitecaps
hidden in the clouds—

the Pacific is roaring like a drunk
raging himself to sleep,
and I can hear the big night insects
crash into the beach chairs, falling on their backs—
making me think my birth and everything in this world
is an accident, in the sense of a collision:
one thing crashing, exploding, sparking off another,
and then in the darkness, listening—

the moon is nowhere to be seen
in the plaza they are lighting off bottle rockets,
and the accordions have started in.
I know I should get off the beach,
finish this beer that I can’t seem to hold still,
maybe it’s because I love the slosh it makes—
like an echo, a little ocean in my hand,
suspended between glass and air
—lightning, I am here

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