At the County Fair

Eva,

we were wandering there

side by side, step in step,

when you turned to me

and confessed a deep

discontent. Who knew

the summer heat could

bleach your eyes or blister

that the hazy your skin,

light would boil and sear

your dear, lonely mind.

 

Your hair, Eva, dripped

down your face like

how tar runs in white

sunshine, but you were

beautiful when rainfall

wetted us and soiled

my discount wristwatch.

The mud swam from stall

to stall and I carried you

and set you down in time

to lose your left sneaker.

 

I’m sorry, Eva,

for my three words

to you, who won it and

set its value at nil. Then

you turned and asked

me for another shot at

the bottles stacked in

triplets, into balloons

swelled past a real

bursting size, and

 

Eva, I rushed you

past the drunken clown

screaming at hidden

homeless wetbacks

raising his taxes through

tented lanes scarred red

and green and yellow

with bleeding face paint

You needn’t see this

side of town. No, close

your eyes sweetheart.

We have to go.

 

Originally appeared in a multimedia production by New Welsh Review, 2015

You can view it here.

© 2020 Jack Freeman