Poem in Which Every Entrance is an Exit

Laura leads you through
the abandoned amusement park
to show you where the fire stopped burning.

As you tour the grounds
you see what survived.

Over the horizon of Laura’s left shoulder
is the ghoul who guides the ghost train;
the fantasy of his colourful flaming skull
masked by the reality of monochromatic ash.

To the west, the entranceway
for the roller coaster is partially boarded up;
the metal track pierces the pinkish sky
like the carcass of a beached whale.

To the east, the ferris wheel is frozen,
no longer giving you and Laura the chance
to look at things from different angles.

Later, when you and Laura finally left, drunk
with the oblivion of all that was, you tripped
on the sign reading WELCOME

Michael Naughten-Shanks


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