The night is an exercise in harmony,

a lesson in primary colors:

Billy, ten, clutches a bottle of WKD blue,

rubs his fast-ruddying face.

When he lifts his arm for posterity, the salute

calls the flame to crawl down the torch,

to consume what little arm hair he has

before it moves on

to the pyramid of tires, doors, crates –

it is the size of five double-decker buses.

All this because Father and friends

aren’t yellow (or green for that matter).

A jealous man might say that

cowardice and drunkenness yield orange –

the color Father dyed Billy’s hair,

the color of Ballymacash burning –

but there is little reason to be jealous of

a blistered red hand that cannot quickly heal.

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