Somewhere a Ferris Wheel Spins
After Ocean Vuong
Don’t look down, baby. Don’t look
down. A Ferris wheel trumps Venus
salt & sand teeth. Sun burns Sweet
Girl’s salt licked skin. Waves touch
bare toes even in wheel, but the
steel bar slashes her mouth &
blood wets black teeth. Pops yells
for The Blue Work Suit but he doesn’t grind
the ride, because now they almost touch
the sun & blue sky swims her broken
mouth— a scream soars, swallow attacked
& never going back to its nest. Candied apple
crushes into her swollen numb of an open
wound as though sweet mixed with crush
makes it alright. Sweet Girl lies a coo
of sound. Pops strokes the ocean almost still
eighteen. Black hair slicked back. Sweet
Girl & the sand bulldozer a charge of rage.
Pops CURSES COÑO in slow drag because
Sweet Girl will be a murder of sand in two
minutes. She rises up or—TAKEN—no one
knows the story—it changes upon telling,
but we know the blood of mouth & black
teeth that won’t let a smile. The quiet back
fan & clementine rotting. Sweet’s crooked
bangs, her cousin with an arm over her
strapped. Loss of children left in San Juan.
Do they tongue cavities or silver fillings?
Do they miss the sweet suck of sour? Do they
blister empty rides? The wind slicks
dirt-mermaid hair to Sweet’s bloody cheek. She
wipes it back, again, on the Ferris wheel. The circle,
the circle, an endless rainbow of half-murders.
[The first line in “Somewhere a Ferris Wheel Spins” is taken from Ocean Vuong’s essay “I Remember Anyway.”]
Sarah Maria Medina is a poet and a fiction/creative non-fiction writer from the American Northwest. Her writing has been published in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Midnight Breakfast, Educe Journal, PANK, Raspa Literary Journal and elsewhere. She was a finalist in Indiana Review’s 2015 Poetry Prize. She is also the poetry editor at Winter Tangerine. Medina is at work on her memoir The Necessity of Not Drowning.