KJ Hays

The Ride

The great bird cranes for the dark circle.
She bats at the fly bugling to her nose.
He tries to look happier by smiling wide.
Stroller wheels buckle beyond the gates
causing the hurtling child to blurt out an
accursed din until mom’s hands shovel
the babe from sawdust into an embrace.
He did not notice her head crash to his
breast or her fingers mummifying her
hazel eyes.

Now she notices his
banana claws in a bunch
around the bony hoops of
her torso.

Pleased by his first move, her fingers stick into
the parading buttons on his shirt like a handful
of bar darts thrown excellently by a drunkard.
His hand skids on the unshorn matchbook skin
of her ripened, un-sunned inner-thigh.
Her pink nails slip eel-like ’round his jawbone.
She leans into him with liquid, vermilion lips.
Gently their lips meet. Their tongues get
lost in a nervous, torrid bobble like two
expert figure skaters hanging onto
each other to balance temporarily
before their swan dive on the ice.

She tastes the latent runes of the love he wisely
kept from her when they waited in line for hours.
She pinches the dream of his zipper to awake each
yellow, metal tang from a drowsy afternoon slumber.
He snakes his arm behind her for the tan bra-strap.
Her breasts fall the way milk bottles do from a trough.
They weave through each other; cotton candy swirls
in beautiful blue wisps around paper shafts; the tilt-
a-whirl jars spines; some kid drops off a rope ladder,
& a balloon fills to bursting with helium from
the deft aim of one adroit water-pistol sniper.

Her jeans slide from her hips; a newbie mounts
a pony with the help of the young ride-attendant.
She feels the hard sledge hammer rising in his
underwear; the lights come on all the way up
her spine, & the siren of her heart spins slowly.

He bobs for her apples; he nibbles two wet stems.
She slides aside the netting of her white panties
to reward him with the kewpie doll of her crotch
as the black mouth of the tunnel opens to swallow
the long, aduncate throat of the hard, plastic swan
that always riffles the waters amidst the cabomba
lilies with the blunt, pointed bulb of its ivory white
tail to leave them lilting after sunlight ends the ride.

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