Friday, March 7, 2014

Poem: The Problem with the Carousel

The Problem with the Carousel

Time is short.
Hand him your ticket and jump the
whirling circle a blur of ponies children
screaming colored lights you find a
horse with a blue saddle the
ride begins grinding gears the
world afloat centrifugal joy the
breeze in your face the song
fills your head like nothing you
ever dreamed but the saddle’s too
wide the stirrups don’t fit and you
find upon its forehead a single
horn it’s not even a horse.

When you’re on.
the pony.
you can’t actually see.
the pony.
but you can see all the.
other ponies.

The ride stops.
The music winds away.
You step to the dirt but then you

see a pony that could not be
more different from the
first so you hand your
ticket and jump the carriage to
your steed with its platinum
tail and sparkling hooves the
grinding gears the world
afloat the spin of stars but
you cannot touch this horse it’s
just out of reach the lights
cut your eyes the song too
loud cotton candy a
lump in your stomach you
take three steps and you
leap into space and you
roll through the straw and
come to a rest with your
eyes to the sky.

You take your last ticket to
the Ferris wheel.
They stop to let someone
on and leave you at the top.

A plane crosses the horizon.
A stoplight turns yellow.
The carnival a tribe of
electric insects.

A line of people at the
whirling circle.
The music rises like smoke.
You trace the bruises and you

if you will ever
ride the carousel again.

From the collection Fields of Satchmo
Photo by MJV

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