*cotton candy* ~ poetry by Jamie Spenser

don’t go in the horse ring too soon

the horse might kick you                    or step on you

if a horse’s foot is stepped on by a boy

that’s something          about God

a first sexual mistake e.g.


a too-hard yank on a bridle

that lands you flat on your back

these two things

are among pain’s explicable causes


in the heart      pain is the most

comprehensive      untenable


in its dolphin wrapper an inner-tube

the brain feels nothing but can be felt-with


two clumps of cotton candy

melting on the ground

bloody             collapsed lungs

tracks of a rolling pin

an instrument intended for bread

I jumped the stall, the audience laughed

as I ran in the ring       the joke and the

punch line       got closer and closer

pain in jaws and elbows and heart

were first          it takes longer

to reach the Man Upstairs


you wonder this is some kind of

dirty joke about

an idiotic boy

candy melting in a girl’s lap

and a horse with a glued-on horn

you’d be right


you are thinking about a farm-horse

and one kicks you from behind

it’s more than coincidence

when a little girl says a little boy’s name

causing him to swing a leg over

the railing        that’s called an accident

synchronicity will be the rule   not the exception

and most times                        as mundane as a fender bender

among god and us, who is the

straight man and who is the clown

please tell the poet

the best among us    the most caring    like you

have no word for reckoning    or redemption

not for a long, long time

Jamie Spenser’s work has been seen in Sheela-Na-Gig and New York Quarterly. Twitter: @jamiewritr.