A place of light and color and ice cream truck music,
where all the slides had flowers,
and all the swings had rabbits to help push,
and the smell of summer was in my eyes,
in my face and hair.
I brushed it off and stared at the gold smeared on my hands
and tried to remember how I got here,
but then the tigers came down from the trees and sang,
and courtly men and women were dancing,
and I watched as the clouds followed their steps and I tried to join in,
but my shoes were sticking,
and the song went on repeating
until I was sick of the tune,
and everyone was busy but no one was smiling.
When the scales over your eyes are made with such detail
and so expensively
you start to believe in the necessary evils.
While Gluttony, Sloth and Lust were handing out coupons
the people clamored,
but I kept walking with my pockets already full of useless paper,
until the fence stopped me,
and I leaned against it for a moment,
while carrion birds circled overhead singing commercial jingles.
Only then did I realize that the gates around the playground were made to keep you in,
a chainlink Acheron.
I once had a map that I kept
in a secret pocket,
and scrawled on the back were the words, “In case of emergency….break.”
and I tried,
I really did,
but after a while it was like trying to win a race by walking backwards,
a Rubik’s cube remaining forever unsolved,
and reason never did rhyme…
So I moved along with the crowd and
the journey ended,
not in lovers meeting,
but in the Devils playground.
And I almost wish I loved the scales for what they hid,
because seeing clearly,
is a house of cards collapsed,
is knowing all the endings lack the ‘happily’ in the ever after.
Seeing clearly is the knowing
that the rabbits are golems,
that the tigers are just taxidermied cats
dusty and flybitten.
No one stopped me as I turned to go,
skittishing away from my wide open eyes.
Perhaps knowing that my scorn,
would break the merry go round,
that the birds overhead would drop and smash on the rocks.
And I kept going,
the rust flaking into henna dust that I kicked off my shoes as I went through the gates,
as I left the playground,
shattered by my desire to stay.