Diary of a 4th of July

Sugar House Park, Salt Lake City, Utah, 7/4/2016

Worked (all felines: Izzy, Jack, Piper, Clark, Lucy, Darko, Todd, Burt, Mica—love them all); Graham and Lauren come over, Ellen and Julia join, Ellen’s friend ending his Ramadan; foster kittens, hard lemonade, shitty Malbec, salsa, chips, guacamole, ohdeargodwhydidIeatsomuch; Ellen/Julia to meet her friend, Livy/Lauren to little park, pepper gel and caps; neighbors’ fireworks go far above parched trees;

walk to Sugar House Park, blanket says “Dream”, American “pride” bittersweet: injustice, racism, homelessness, hopelessness, the fantasy of believing in a dying “dream”; cars, cars, cars, boys singing to “Get Low”, fleece blanket making me sweat, can’t reach Julia who’s already there; see James and Indy, find a spot, then another; see Kerry; fireworks start, music starts, same old music, same old American livefeed; so many people, so many many people, fireworks into the sky, blankets, glowsticks, children, drones; weed smoke;

a baby is handed to his daddy, who hugs him and lifts him into the air;

boom, sky lights up, silhouettes of so many people, so many many people (why do we come here/why not watch from down the street? Why sojourn to the park?); Livy and Lauren lying down, friendship, the new generation, complicated, wise, (do they feel American pride?); people gazing up, boom, lights, pictures in the glow; the daddy speaks to his group, another language/Middle Eastern?, the group laughs, mostly men, on blankets, two feet away, the baby handed back to mom and she is dressed to match the baby in red, white and blue.

And I’m staring at them, and can’t look away, for there is love and language and selves, and forgiveness of xenophobes, braving traffic and crowds and heat so they can share “America” with their baby and it’s why we’re all here; because the mom in tan shorts and the baby in American flag Navy and my girls and my friends are children to Unity; and the sky sparkles as we all sit together and it’s gorgeous,

and the men clap when the last of the fireworks fade, and we all walk home.

And the Dream lives.

[I don’t exactly know what is happening to America right now but I do know that every act of resistance to cruelty is actually an act of love for both country and humanity so may we all find strength in knowing we’re standing into the good fight].

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