imagine—an abandoned carnival deep in pinewood / rusting memories into dusk / moss
inching up aching roller coasters / rotting swings blowing in the wind / what rejoiced now weeps /
feel it throb—feel soil straining under carousels uproot itself / cruel in its heaviness / brittle as rotting bones /
nothing here can distinguish apparitions from mist / not even the sun / peeking through pine /
a place like this cannot be torn down / will always return to haunt the dreams of those who dare to step into its sickness / dare to sneak into its murk /
close your eyes and it appears / close your eyes and it breathes—
Madison Zehmer (she/her) is a poet and wannabe historian from North Carolina, United States, with published and forthcoming work in Déraciné Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, Gone Lawn, LandLocked Magazine, Kanstellation Magazine, and elsewhere. She is editor-in-chief of Mineral Lit Mag and a reader for Lily Poetry Review. Her first chapbook, “Unhaunting,” will be released by Kelsay Books in 2021.