Carousel The Color Of Night

geum flower wreath

It went around and around, never stopping, never slowing, that carousel the color of night.⁣

Its horses were covered in stars and when they tossed their manes, glittered light fell to the ground.⁣

The children riding it wore shadows and smiles, they flung rings of flowers to those who watched. ⁣

They curled their fingers and beckoned, laughed and sang, and begged us to join their swirling dance under the moon.⁣

We touched their hands, an eternal choice. Now destined to spin forever under the sky that would always be dark. ⁣

The children no longer smiled and sang, they wept or they screamed or they were empty and burned. ⁣

The stars on the horses were thistles and burrs. They bared their teeth and they hissed and they cursed.⁣

We fell dizzy to the old wood of the thing, and it cut our knees. ⁣

We stood and the poles’ splinters pierced our fingers.⁣

The lucky ones fell off when no one was watching. They ran home, bleeding and scarred.⁣

But the rest of us, we are here still. We smile and dance, toss flowers and sing, we weep and scream and burn.⁣

And when we can’t anymore, we stagger to the mirrored panes at the center, pull them apart, and step inside. ⁣

And wind the small music box suspended above the sharp rusted gears. ⁣

Then we lie down near it and sleep: silent, dreamless, and thick. ⁣

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