We stand face to face as the countdown begins.
The people around us laugh and blow horns,
as they prepare to pop bottles of celebratory champagne.
Your hand touches the arch of my back,
and I move closer to brush my stomach against yours.
“Five, four, three, two, one…”
Wishes for a happy new year are drown out
by something horrific and unfamiliar to any of us.
The ground vibrates underneath our feet,
and all we can hear are fearful gasps,
and glass bottles crashing against the wooden floor.
We hold tightly to one another but look away,
examining the crowd as it separates into smaller,
more defined groups of people.
Individuals abandon their new years kisses,
to find the person that truly comforts them
in times of fear, confusion, and need.
The lights flicker and the music stops.
Despite the panic, and pattering of high heals,
everything seems quiet and serene.
No one laughs, or blows horns,
every word comes out as a whisper.
A thick cloud of smoke creeps over the window,
dimming the red and blue lights
that speed through the streets outside.
Cell phones start ringing, and a hundred voices fill the room.
Yet, for the first time in forever,
no one in this small town knows anything.
An hour later we are all drunk,
and ready to put the past behind us,
as New Years are intended to do.
The once crowded room begins to overload,
too many people, all the same story.
A fire had been set to the West Clocks building.
As we prepared for the future,
someone took the liberty of destroying our past.
All that’s left is the sulfur and smoke,
yet ten days later,
history still lingers through the air.