Carnival time, Magic Island, 50th-State
Fair 1967, the year of hard words, attacking
candy, for the dead enough to suck on, those cavity
syllables to drum, beat my hollow journey, the last top
of the Ferris Wheel, last starry night, confectioner
of my earth, rotate me down, slow to dark dirt ground,
beyond the crowded noise, some kind
of cotton candy freak show, sometimes even fools, I
can’t hang on to the rare air and laugh, playing
against the odds, screaming all the games
of chance, there where I swayed last in the music,
calliope of then, back and forth sway above the din, the dim
sugared words from that time never come again,
here beyond the rim of light, in the shadows
I’ve lived since at the steep edge of inaction,
stepping carefully into the quiet, where a mother
picks up her child at the evening’s end, lays him to sleep
on her tempering, quiet breast.

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