Elephant ears, deep fried, festooned with sugar,
A protected specie of carnival,
Hot grease tanking the humid air
So breath seizes the way poison gas
Drenched the trenches. Still the mouth
Waters for succulence. Crisp and oil
Laden as a pipeline to heart attack.
Ice creams floats like a bloated body
In the dark acid of root beer. It’s good
To quench the thirst. Good as lemonade
Sweet-sour in a paper cup. Ribs blacken
On vast grills manned
By sweating guys armed with prongs.
Hot dogs in poppy seed buns lavished
With mustard yellow as Vincent’s sunflowers,
Cyanide piccalilli, shattered onions
Dripping in a cardboard coffin.
Explosions of cotton candy, pink
As ersatz flamingoes. Deep fried
Snickers and cookie dough.
Chocolate shelled bananas.
Everything sweet and greasy.
Flimsy napkins that can’t cleanse
Your hands or mouth from wanting.



Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review,etc. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 16 books including Selected Poems” from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and “Ribcage” from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. She has two books forthcoming in 2016 and 2017. One of her poems is among the winners of the 2016 Atlantic Review International Poetry Contest. Colby is also a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review.