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January 2014, vol 9, no 4

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Jianqing Zheng

Touch


At dusk a boy with a jar in his hand runs to the stream to catch fireflies while his dad walks to a view dock to take a picture of a rowboat turning itself with the flow. After the snapshot the man sees a firefly glowing on and off before him. He flings his hand to catch it and calls out to his son, but the boy is enjoying himself. He is moving his hands up and down to touch the glowing bugs while his jar is bobbing away down the stream. Seeing this, the man releases his catch. When he was his son’s age he used to stand in the shallows to have a pleasant touch of the fireflies. Now the sunset dims out behind weeping willows, and his son dims into a silhouette surrounded by fireflies sparkling like stars.

July 4—
a constellation
of fireworks




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