The night before the carnival opens
there is nobody on the dark and still midway
but me and
me and she is still

and all she wants is
a pair of tight jeans
long hair and a feathered roach clip
Carny eyes and a Cleopatra smile
lips the dark pink color of kissed cotton candy
a tilting hip around which the arm
of a boyfriend who smokes Marlboros
is slung, his hand in her back pocket.

All that
and open highways,
bright lights, rock music
the keys to an old Ford pickup
Lita Ford on the radio

Heading north in June,
back south in October
and all she wants is to say yes
to the moving feast and yes
to endless cicadas and yes
to a gypsy life and yes
to the sunburned boys
with wiry arms and hard eyes and yes
and yes
and yet

the night before the carnival opens
is still.