Carnival

Susan Wheeler

Boy in lit din – trailing tickets in strings, a man on his hand –
tilts at the red poles, dots, rainbows in kliegs; tilts past

rickety gates manned by bent men, men bent into bars like the man
with the boy bends to bars, too; tilts as a T-shirt shoves and dissolves.

Boy blinking in noise, with coupon trails, veers at the hand out to
Wipeout near Yo-yo and Claw; Graviton, Zipper, Chaos, Rok & Roll –

this: major ride row. Slime Buckets. Orbiter. Night with its
sear of crayon through ink. Boy in the spill of shapes liquid at night.

Motherfucker give ‘em to me, the man’s the boy’s master and
his own dive he feints, bending, too. This ain’t TV. Pulled up to

concessions. Stopped straight under white. Major Ride Row,
its Fire Ball, Tornado, zipped out of reach, sees the man on the end

of the boy levy a string for a carton of drinks. It’s not free.
Would that a wave from the night past the trees take him, take him,

far away from me: this they both wish from their roiling seas,
in dins of temptations, in the slugs from the noise both would be.