We swim through the fair, 
wading through the smell 
of funnel cake and other fried treats
threatening to fill our lungs,

deliciously drowning us
amid carnival barkers and juggling dogs,
lights as bright as sunfish
and other sea creatures of a habit.

Children dreaming of cotton candy 
hop from the Ferris wheel, 
breathing sugar with a taste 
of excitement from a summer night 

not in school, as we wade upstream, 
pushing against the tide 
washing through 
the school of revelers, baptized at last.

© 2019 Phillip Knight Scott

This poem and many others are available in my collection of poems, Paint the Living, Plant the Dead, available now on Amazon.

“Carnival” originally appeared in the Galway Review.

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