Price of Admission


I know exactly what is going to happen while we stand in line,
but I'll ride all the rides for you, because you want to.
You like to feel sick. You like being dizzy.
Sometimes I think you like making me sick and dizzy too.
And I will go see the clowns, even though
their faces will come off at the end of the night
and mine will stay the same.
I will watch the fierce animals,
not so fierce when back in their cages.
I will watch the tight rope walkers even though I do the same
all the time, with you, for you.
I don't think the Ringmaster believes
this is the greatest show on Earth.
Not anymore.
And your favorite thing-- the cotton candy.
It is made of waiting, of crying, of fighting,
of deprivation of every kind.
It is made of days wasted that were never more full,
and of tiny seashells crammed into wet pockets.
The cotton candy is made of sleeping on your chest,
and wishing I could forgo sleep altogether.
Made of seven hours, disappointment, all dressed up
with nowhere to go, of so many things.
Or, air and sugar, all spun together.
I know all of these things,
and we do it because it makes you happy.
You are the reason that I return to the carnival every night.

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