What’s Fair

What’s Fair

I stepped up to that booth
In the carnival
And valiantly heaved
A steel ball into milk bottles

While the bored operator
And you lit up at the sight
Of some action finally when
The stacked metal tumbled down.

I looked up at
A colorful, most obnoxiously large
Plush monkey on the prize rack
And picked it out for you,

Parading it around the fair
Under an air of fried confections
Proudly like a boyfriend should
After a supposed romantic gesture.

We showed your dad
And he seemed so
Gleeful about something
So simple.

Couples passed us on the way
Up and down the aisles
Jealous of a big blue monkey
Sat perched on my shoulders.

I still have the plastic ticket
I used to pay for the game.
Sometimes I look at it
And smile thinking of your dress,

But then I remember that monkey
When we lounged in your room
And its obnoxiously big
Plush body sat in one corner

And watched us as we kissed
And had sex and talked about
Our days or why things ever
Lulled or had to end once.

The monkey watched as we
Dressed up to go to the
Theater or out on any one
Of our innumberable dates.

He sat in his corner never speaking
But watching Halloween and
Chistmas gifts be swapped and
A new year give way to warmth.

Every time I come across that
Ticket, I smile because
I can remember some of those
Good times we could share.

I can remember your perfume
You must have put on topless
In front of him after a shower,
For the mist emanated from his fur.

When I saw you nearly naked
On the floor or in photos
You took confidently for me
After I won the monkey

For you at the fair, two years ago.
We were young. Your gold curls,
What innocent
Sights passed by his glossy plastic

Hemispheres slightly brown
With age hanging from the shelf.
At the end of the day, not terribly
Of any individual significance

Beside all the red monkeys
Or the green ones, maybe smaller
But nonetheless beside him on
The shelf and hanging from the tent.

Why I picked him after I looked you
In your eyes, I had to wonder
Particularly why it was him I let
Sit on your bedroom floor and

Be a voyeur from that summer
All the way into next May.
I can still smell your perfume
Sometimes. And especially when

I see that ticket in my lockbox
Or spring and summer come around
I can detect your perfume,
And still sometimes I can smile.

Even after your scent was
At one point choking.
Even after the monkey was
Donated to Goodwill.

I can remember the good and
Try to phase out all after.
I want to forgive you, but
What’s fair wasn’t found in the fair.

The poor monkey didn’t deserve it.

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