We ferris wheel-ed. Spun on our stomachs to Saving Jane’s “Girl Next Door” & screamed the chorus to strangers while our hair blew behind us like comet trails. Ambled past the FFA pins of sheep & pigs & award-winning geldings in thick, patterned blankets until we stood facing The Chainsaw, wristbands chaffing our sun-charred arms. You climbed into the cage, flipping down & down & sideways, laughing as I melted into the wooden bench nearby, too afraid of tumbling to touch knees with you in the passenger car. We kissed on The Scrambler, our mouths stained with shaved ice & PBR & the taste of the Missouri sunset, sticky on our funnel-caked tongues as we bumped teeth & felt the corners of our lips curl towards the sherbet sky. Years ago, I paced circles here. Rode atop a chestnut saddlebred. Trotted around a dusty ring. You never saw us, hair freshly washed, our necks wrapped in champion’s ribbon, Annie’s bridle glistening amber with light. That night we fell asleep with our ankles touching, drunk off dreams of pinwheel-striped canvas & August heat. Lotioned our hands. Didn’t take home any popeyed goldfish. Called it wonder. Slept in the kiss of our twilight. Sang lullabies to clowns & teenaged employees & men in red bowties. Called it magic. Climbed the ferris wheel. Laughed.
Hannah Cajandig-Taylor is a poet and flash writer residing in the Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she is a reader for Passages North and Fractured Lit. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kissing Dynamite, Hobart, Lunate, Sonora Review, Drunk Monkeys, and Mineral Lit Mag, among others. She has been nominated for a Best Small Fictions award and still plays Nancy Drew games on her computer. Find her on Twitter @hannahcajandigt.