V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




To cure her toothache, we went to the fair,
rode the Tilt-a-Whirl, ate bouffants of cotton
candy. Her cheeks swelled all day
with funnel cake and gulps of root beer.
The House of Illusions swallowed us
and mirrors lined up crooked as wisdom
teeth. She was the one-eyed queen
tapped from the thick of the deck.
She counted the acrobat's toe hairs,
named each bead on his forehead. At dusk,
she said the day was giving itself to the one
million bulbs so they could light the pathways
between roller coasters and booths—each one
got a ray. We sang along to the music hidden
far behind our backs, the notes making it
seem that her tongue had never touched
the slick point of an incisor.

© by Jordan Sanderson


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