Men in red vests enter in the wake of the crowd’s leaving,
their sneakers rustling hollow soda cups and corndog sleeves.
This is the dingy hush of half-eaten pretzels, half-empty
popcorn buckets. When the crew has finished clearing debris
from this Friday night of bullshit wrestling, they’ll scatter
sawdust, they’ll upright barrels for bulls to tip over,
for clowns to spill out from. And when the polka dots,
all the wigs and scarves are erased, they’ll build dirt-soaked ramps
for motor bikes, monster trucks. This is a place in flux,
and you are the body, the shell that all this electricity
travels through. It singes you—heat with purpose
to maintain motion. You stand still, your arms raised
over your head. Ready. You hear the click of locks closing,
the fading ching of keys falling. You feel the nudge
of a dust mop against your shoe. The smell is antiseptic, Lysol,
with a voice that says only: Move.
Carrie Meadows teaches creative, professional and academic writing at UTC. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Mid-American Review, and other publications. She is the author of Speak, My Tongue, a poetry collection forthcoming from Calypso Editions in 2017.