by Rebekah Miller
See the July night, red-white striped tents,
lights from rides’ mounts.
Smell the cotton candy pink and popcorn buttered.
Stationary horses whinny
as they go round and round.
The street’s full of clowns and
painted faces and ice-cream and churches and
jeeps and tickets and laughter and
Carnival, you wouldn’t be complete without
Parents who love their offspring so much they
don’t mind injuring someone else’s.
The fuming height sticks make houses of
Do you like what you see, Carnival?
Do you miss my crawls through moonwalk innards?
The claustrophobia as playful walls
cast their eerie crimson light?
Carnival, are you Fair?
Amidst the balloons and bubbles,
I see your teeth.
Carnival, the daughter of the Ferris Wheel Operator
has become her own Strong Man.
I walk my tightrope with no
net to catch.
I don’t hide my face behind your
bulbous red nose.
I have found the courage to choke down the sword
and breathe fire flames.
Carnival, you are no longer the ringmaster.
I will shoot myself to the stars
out of your old, rusty cannon.
And as I soar my wings in flight,
far, far below
will be the tent You built crumbling down
in the flames I set ablaze.