Lost in the Carnival

I look for you, lost in the carnival. Children run over popcorn-covered dirt floor and swing sticky, cotton candy hands as adult bodies push down and disregard. The carousel spins. Painted horses and unicorns move, cream, red, and white with no end in sight. A throng of clowns try to engage and elicit laughs before they move on. The carnival crowd, all of them, always the same.

Sometimes, you’re part of that crowd but radiant when you come into your own. I miss the adjoining, expansive field and shining constellation sky, searching endlessly for your smile.

I find you on the outskirts, standing in front of a porch and see a stranger kissing you and holding you as if everything about you is already known. Did you like the kiss? If so, you’re both lost and found.

Now, I face a fun-house mirror. Half of me also looks lost, the other half distorted. Unable to recognize myself, I’m forced to leave without explaining how hard it was to find you.


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