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Carnival at Closing Time

by Anna Jalali

We are our memories, they say,
just neurons holding hands.
no science so far can dissect our secrets.

I am my sense of smell, I am my waning sight
Fading like the moon here tonight
I am my empty hearing they say
Where once there was music only echoes remain

I am my sense of touch which hasn't left me at all
has strengthened despite the chaos of this moving carnival
of hospitals made homes of physicians juggling pills
this carnival that is my body.
Perhaps touch is all
There ever was and not just what I have left;
an icy grip on this merry go round life I won't forfeit
Or maybe touch was left intact just for this walk
For this electric manna, sodium and potassium, they say
Spiking on grey matter like fireworks in this sky
While the world dissolves,
Pulled apart at its colourful seams
As the tent collapses and the wheel comes full circle
"Carefully exit the ride please."

so I'm no longer on it
and the curtains close on our midnight stage.

Here comes another couple
Just drifting through the carnival
Hand in hand, transient like touch.