Sparklers erupted in the tiny garden: Independence Day bursting from late summer blooms. Like filaments of electricity, brought down to size, brought back to earth, the white stems arched with a delicate voltage.
Fireworks will wait for the night, when the moon agrees to recede for an hour or two. But these blooms hissed in the morning, within their effervescent lawn. They possessed no color, only a white heat that bleached their chlorophyll, melting it like pearls.
Pearls were used for decoration: loved so dearly that they were given names: La Peregrina, Hope, Canning, Cleopatra’s, Aphrodite’s. They were crushed into poultices, powders and pastes. They were also used for tears, believed to be drops from the moon that had fallen into the sea.
And now…the delicate pyrotechnics were rooted into the ground, with threads that flared with a comet’s passion and virtuosity. Silently, it burst and crackled. Yet its iridescent core was as cold as nacre. A confusion of temperature and color, they grew in barbed bouquets, content to spurn any grasp and to grow in beds as quiet as an oyster’s.