March 5, 2017

Three Poems by Doni York: "A Deep Thought in the Middle of a Carnival Date," "Another Joke About the End of the World," and "Drive"

Doni York is a graduate student and teaching assistant at Indiana State University where she is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing. She currently acts as Vice President of her college's Creative Writing Society and is also a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honor Society. After graduation she plans on pursuing a career that allows her to write and work with books.

A Deep Thought in the Middle of a Carnival Date

Once there were people here. Hand in hand as they walked past mint striped tents. Holding cones of pink cotton clouds. Laughing at un-witty jokes because they came from admired lips. Taking a breather to gossip over what he said that she said that he said. Because he really did say that.

Standing in line at the haunted house where phantoms dwelled in mirrors. The distortion of reality – of bliss. To know there was another person lurking beneath their skin and rattling their bones. Staring back at the homunculus with cherry lips for a dollar. The paper scented skeleton in khakis. Because he wasn’t quite as tall and her hair wasn’t quite as bright. Because a smile was only a smile until it wasn’t.

Another Joke About the End of the World

They say the world will end in a bang. Not a fizzle. Or maybe just dead silence. Not a pop. Like a firecracker that never went off because the air was damp and you really didn’t know how to work a firework anyway. You’re a sparkler kind of guy.

Maybe it does go off. In your hand. Burns left along palm lines where a physic in the back of an incense ridden shop told you it meant a long life. Time to get married. Get a dog. Buy that house out in Virginia, you know the one. She handed you a grocery list for the rest of your life and you walked out knowing your zodiac sign as told by Vogue.


It’s those early drives that really get me. The ones buried
beneath pale fog and an even paler sky. All color drained
from my eyes as voices on the radio recite
another Shakespearian tragedy and I realize
that I prefer the static. I find myself hunting
for any source of color – a fluorescent sign signaling
me near. Not the blinking pints of neon beer,
but something for this pent-up adrenaline.
I want carnival lights. Spontaneous lightning streaks
of purple, blue, flamingo pink. Arrows pouncing
toward adventure under flashy fireworks combusting
into glitter and embers against this dismal sky
to tell me that there’s more up ahead if I keep driving
if I hold my tongue at the stagnant traffic lights waiting
for that hazy crimson to turn and yell run.

© Doni York

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