Finishing Sequence

By CARRIE MEADOWS

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 SchoonerNorth American ReviewMid-American Review, and other publications. She is the author of Speak, My Tongue, a poetry collection forthcoming from Calypso Editions in 2017.

Finishing Sequence

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