The chill air tumbles down from the moon
And splashes through trembling leaves
Tainted by the icebergs of Europa.
Silently, like a frenzied animal,
The nightwind pokes its nose
Into tight corners, stirring debris and dust
To fashion merry whirlwinds
Of candy wrappers, dying balloons
Pigeon feathers, scattered popcorn
And torn fragments of a loser’s tickets
To the lottery. Suddenly, as if
With a whoop of joy,
It seizes sheets of tabloid,
Triumphantly kites them high
Above the peaks of the central tent
And, like children playing follow me,
They troop through the brass forest
Of the carousel. A frozen lion
Puts on a cocked hat, a rearing horse
Gains a paper mask. As if tired of the game,
The remaining sheets collapse in chuckles
On the central machinery.
The wind runs its fingertips along a line of lights
To make them dance in sinusoidal glee.
It shakes the canvas posters of the sideshows
Distorting even further the twisted human portraits
And then skoots off into the big top.
With skill it coordinates
The pendulums of trapezes.
It tosses handfulls of sawdust on the empty seats
Which shine in fascination at its high jinks.
Then, bored with play, it exits to the night
And back up to the stars.