Despite the rain and the failure of the rabbit
Breeding duo to show on the first night,
The carnival went on as planned.

On the midway, the barker raged, the Ferris
Wheel turned as a lazy centrifuge pinned
To the purple breast of evening

High off games of guessing and walloping
plastic pop-up gorillas, Children wish they
had horns, that they had eight toes on each foot.

Cotton candy breath and hands sticky with snow
Cone runoff grab at the rails and steel
t-shaped restraint bars.

Through the flap in the back of the tent
We would watch the simulated copulations
Between woman and pole.

The eight foot tall lady purses her
lips and stares down at the ruby
piles of vomit,

A breed of sheep, gentle and pink in its ears,
is what I remember most. For three days,
I pretended he was mine.

A fellow Ripping
tickets with
iridium tinted
hair and a
dimensionless girl
tattooed on
his clavicle,
nods you through
the gate.

I remember how the petting enclosures
smelled of Wet straw and urine.

In '82 the tractor pull
Was won by a driverless
diesel named Clyde.

After the contest, rumor swirled
that he was a shill paid off by the
one-armed chicken barbecuer.

The moldering piles of lama dung
Were like ziggurats to the barn rats.

If I could have made whippoorwills fly
Out of my ear I would have. As it was, I
Could make you guess the wrong hand:
The coin was in my shoe.

Bryan Desjardins
BRYAN DESJARDINS has published two poems, one in a print journal (Soundings East), and one on-line. He is currently working as an English teacher in Tewksbury, Massachussetts, and he has an eight-month-old son named Charlie. He enjoys reading, writing, and collecting wristwatches.
The Adirondack Review
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
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The St. Lawrence Book Award