A fair

We knew the dice were loaded, the barrels bent, the darts
weighted and the winning numbers absent, but I played the part: 'win me
a toy!' You refused, would not relent: you didn't play
those sorts of games. And so instead we went on the fastest rides,

savoured the feeling of sailing close to the edge.
The view was immense. From the top

of some free-wheeling white-knuckled machine we could have
— if we could have stopped — we could have seen it all,
a glorious vista framed, fractured between thought-
defying gasps for air, a city scene painted, refigured, filled with

dazzling shapes. Sweet vagueness far beyond. Somewhere
half-glimpsed, the cottage door. The roses. A pond. Hidden depths,
the ivy growing in twisted tram-tracks
along the fault lines of each imagined wall.

I wondered what would happen if the car parted from its rails,
the swing spun off in some inevitable parabola, whether we'd have time
to notice we were flying far too far, time to forget how to fall.
You know the rest: the sudden jolt, the parting of senses,

the flames, the severance, the phantom pain.
I tossed a two-headed coin, it came up tails: the dice were loaded
from the start.

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