County Fair
Today’s the day the axle grease goes dry—
I board the fairground rides, on edge,
And hope like hell the safety harness holds
When The Power Surge flips my cart around.
All that keeps me from 9.81 meters
Per second squared are thirty-year-old parts
And labor, and the riders’ collective will.
What are the odds? I chant with every upwardheaval
Of The Plunger’s half-empty carriage,
Or when The Atomizer clocks its top G force.
Jesus may be my safety bar, but still
I wouldn’t mind some evidence
Of bureaucratic oversight.
I must be at least 4-foot-6 and willing to pit
Superstition versus throwing-caution-
To-the-wind. Contrapuntal back and forth.
The Viking Ship completely vertical.
A sprinkle of loose change. What are the odds.
Is luck the universe singling you out?
I hit all seven ducklings at the Shoot ‘Em Up
And won the stuffed blue dinosaur
That I clutch to my chest as the lift hill
Ratchets us to the inevitable
—The bolt shears, or the wire snaps—
Drop dive of The Comet.
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