If There’s A Script, Mine Was Lost

Easter Saturday, Easter
Eve, the afternoon, the half-assed bastard
zombie, red-headed step-
child of Christmas, the cold
South Jersey spring, the puffs of plum, spun
sugar on the vine
and my son
face deep in a bee’s hive
of pink cotton candy
on the Ocean City Boardwalk.

Ocean City: dry town the Methodists
founded some time
outside of time, a foreverland of 1910, brass
bands, striped pants, everything
costs a dime while the black folks
struggle in real time, a memory
of someone’s memory’s bright thought bubble, a graphic
novel crouched in wait to be thrashed
out on the page. Ocean City: the boardwalk
thrums with all these other
lives, and I talk my pink-toothed son
into riding the elephants, cram him in
to the inside seat of a dirty dove-
gray Dumbo who spins slowly
on a glowing axis. Oh Earth, reified: with the simple tug
of the plastic lever grinning at us
from Dumbo’s center, we can choose
to rise and fall and rise again. But when? I never
know. I don’t know when to stop. I don’t

know when to go. I didn’t sign up
to be the captain of this or any other ship, isn’t
that why the pock-faced kid in the red wrinkled polo
gets to flip the big red switch? Isn’t he my little
90-second god-ditch? Everyone must be watching
and wanting to know
why we’re up high while the others
fly low, the five-year old ponytail
in front of me has clearly gotten the memo. My son
is screaming to get down. The elephants keep going

round. I am waiting for the day
I am finally someone else’s hired clown, when I will know
exactly when to go, to take the proper cue– Come out,
now, 
someone (stage left) whispers into Christ’s dead ear.

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About evanduyne

I'm assistant professor of writing at Stockton University, where I'm also affiliated faculty in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I work on Sylvia Plath, contingent faculty, and creative writing around trauma and domestic violence.
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