for Ocean Vuong
a reprise from
'It's got to do with America,
my love of music, my grotesque loneliness...' - Henry Miller
Are not all summer nights
born late in America, fading
only when morning glories
breech fairgrounds entire
fog draped at dawn?
Pine perimeters encircle
veiled hermetic tents.
Suspended rides now frighten.
Momentarily the carnies are
relieved of their ugliness.
Cotton candy gins spin
confections dry to cold crystal.
Sugared metals stop,
their precocious tongues tuned
too early for erasure.
I, Twitter, stutteringly remember
in cyber chases, late night,
sitting at computer scrabbling
after old grievances such are
lovers, cheaters, jilts, and those
rare 'got-lucky' graces, unexpected
shudders and shoulders where I broke
open, finally laid, laid waste for future flatterers
and failures of heart.
Sniffing my fingers for remnant tents,
I recall, sickened, the candy at every fair,
hand fulls gorged, glutted, belly sore and
wanting more, drowned in the push-shove
of fevered bodies intent on the fast rides
where one loses stomach for the ordinary.
Dizzy, I grab my ankles, confess instead,
I've puked my guts from excess, spun sugar
and cartwheels, mechanical distractions
ghosting up Stillborn nights holding their
breath well past bedtime.
At a window counting railroad cars
a boy thief is stealing circus hours.