4th of July
If I have any romantic notions left,
please let me abandon them here
on the dashboard of your Subaru
beside this container of gas station
potato salad and bottle of sunscreen.
Otherwise, my heart is a sugar packet
waiting to be shaken open by some
other man’s hand. Let there be another town
after this one, a town with an improbable Western
name—Wisdom, Last Chance—where we can get
a room and a six-pack, where the fireworks
end early, say nine o’clock, before it’s really
gotten dark enough to see them because
everyone has to work in the morning.
I’m not asking for love anymore.
I don’t care if I never see a sailboat again.
* * * * * * *
Keeje Kuipers is a native of the Northwest. She earned her BA at Swarthmore College and her MFA at the University of Oregon. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Oregon Literary Arts, and Soapstone, as well as awards from Atlanta Review and Nimrod. In 2007, she was the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident, which provided her with seven months of solitude in Oregon's Rogue River Valley where she composed work that has been published in Prairie Schooner, West Branch, The Southeast Review, and Willow Springs, among others. Kuipers teaches writing at the University of Montana and is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She divides her time between San Francisco and Missoula where she lives with her dog, Bishop. "4th of July" first appeared in Willow Springs.