Carnival haibun

A haibun for the dverse carnival prompt.


We take to the streets to show we’re happy. Alone it’s not the same. Drink flows and the street vendors slap their fat thighs and hawk their wares and we buy and we eat and we say it’s good. The music deafens and the colours blink and sway—makeup, wigs, papier mâché monsters. We dance until we’re hoarse, eat until we’re nauseated, and everyone laughs. I dance with you and he dances with that one over there and we all embrace in a collective oblivion. And next day we walk on the other side of the street and the bills drop on the mat and your mother is still sick and everything in the shops is too expensive. But we had fun, you say, it made a change. I watch you walking to the bus stop, shoulders a little more stooped and the change seems suddenly unbearable.

Light splatters punch

beignets glisten—tomorrow

comes anyway.