I look up to see a woman looking down and, because the parade day has now darkened into slates and smokey chocolate browns of city nights, I can see nothing more of her than her silhouette, framed in the fourth storey window - a big square of burnt yellow light.
Then, when a street-to-sky rocket shoots up, explodes, it bathes the brick face of this building in its blues and white. Post-powder silence ensues.
I wave and she nods, turning away from the window. Who is she? Who am I, looking up? I am carried for an instant from my body, through hers, and then back to the street where I find myself holding a piece of a language that seems not to belong to me.
A whistle blows and I walk forward, amidst my contingent dressed in reds and blues, a hundred yards more toward the reviewing stand. Bright lights shine in my face and chase away pursuing shadows.
The parade continues, as before.