Glowing Dust

Belinda Cai

When I was a little girl
we used to catch lightning bugs
my friend took one
and dragged its butt
across the driveway
leaving a trail of glowing dust
and a small, mangled carcass
I was sad a lot then
When I walk the suburbs
of my parents' house
A new neighborhood,
bigger houses,
shinier cars,
decades later
We are no longer in poverty
I see a woman gardening
a man watering his lawn
a child chasing her dog
and I feel alone
like I sometimes do
and it's all
I can feel
it's in my chest
and I'm
walking and dragging
my cigarette
and then dragging its butt
across the sidewalk
with my foot
ruining the pristine
American Dream
one filter at a time
glowing dust