Clinging to the walls like barnacles,
Simmering, but hidden,
Effervescent vesicles
Nostalgically attached to skin,

Reluctant to give up the care
And bosom of the open room,
Nest quietly in our hair
And with a sudden gesture bloom,

Gasping for the breath of skies,
Boiling up like rockets,
Like liquid fireflies
Released from cunning secret pockets

In the world’s lurking gas,
Breaching through the surface
Of the water’s liquid glass,
Vanishing on purpose

Back into the waiting air
Like unwinding kilowatts,
The flashbulb’s after-glare
That blinds our frozen stare

But compensates with dazzling spots.


When the air bubbles which surround us unnoticed in the tub rise to the surface, released from their electrostatic hold on the porcelain or on our skin by a sudden movement, they pop, causing reflected explosions on the underwater tub surface, so that the walls and floor that surround our watery world echo with pent-up fireworks, like sun released from air, the way Buckminster Fuller described fire as sun released from a log.

Reflections in the tub are fire released from water, and inanimate bubbles turn out to be their animated opposite. The void inside the bubble becomes the body of the fireworks.

Tippet Alley
April 8th, 2001, 2:42 AM

December 4th, 2021