After long naps, the children on beach vacation
sip Dr. Chek and wonder why they’re eating
hot dogs for breakfast. The black cherry cola
stains their mouths awestruck. Somewhere
beyond their five-deep hammock, a rollercoaster
moans like a sad whale. They venture out
from under the streetlight toward the waterfront
amusement park, The Miracle Strip.
Their cutoffs’ ripped hems like cilia, flagella—
words they’ve yet to learn tremble against the thigh.
Their young bodies lured by tilt-a-whirl strobes
and the radio stah uh ah uh ah uh ah ar.
They must be just this tall and they are.
And then they hesitate at the entrance. A blink.
A skip in the heart. Before the line to wander up
the devil’s tongue and be strapped in,
before the funhousing, the just-one-more-ride-ing,
in this middle distance they feed their gum to seagulls.
They thumb their soft wrists before snapping tight
wristbands red as a red never found in nature.