Carnival This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 20, 2013
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It’s late at night
that I remember
the carnival smell,
and with it the
feeling of the cheap
leather belt across
my stomach, you said,
baby, is this really going
to stop us from falling
if this thing comes
crashing down and I
said it won’t
fall down, even though
I could see two of the neon
light bulbs had shattered
and no one had bothered
to replace them.

We rode the Ferris wheel
lots of times,
and every time we got
stuck at the top I could
see some kid crying
over a lost balloon
and I just knew
that in a minute
they would have cotton
candy smeared on their
fingers and everything
would be okay. And,

this one time
after it had gotten
late, I just looked down
at the slithery, melancholy,
sugar-dusted snakes
in front of the roller coaster
and the tilt-a-whirl
and I saw so many
people holding hands,
and I just wondered
what they would all do,
what anyone would do,
if I unclicked the cheap
metal buckle and crawled
down the spokes of the wheel
all the way to the bottom.
The sign on the door said
not to stand up, I read it
a hundred times when I should
have been looking at
you, and I obeyed because
in the phosphorescent glow
I thought this moment would
fold out and multiply
and create a thousand paper
snowflakes of itself.

I could have asked
the magician why
they roped us in
when we could escape
and he would have told
me it was all about the
illusion, and you can laugh
but I swear that night
I believed not even a fall of
300 feet would break us.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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