(I wrote this during the student protests in April)
Side A: bulldog days
It was time for the preview, the carnival, the sales pitch for those still blessed with the simplicity of choice. The entire bay was aglow with fairy lights, and soft choral music hummed in every corner. You were told to polish each grain of sand until it shone like a speck of gold, a potential pearl, until your hands wore raw ribbons of ruby red.
They dumped confetti onto the shoreline, covered the garbage with glitter and framed the stench on the dogwood trees. The Smilers came out of their shadowed nooks in the trees, teeth gleaming white, palms dry as chalk as they shook each and every hand. Their enamel made you remember, enabled that past so often repressed, when you were also small and scurried and told yourself this white powder in the air was sugar and not salt.
It did not take long for you to develop a resting bitch face standing next to them. You needed it, to prove to the others like you that you were not like them, the newcomers, so fresh-faced and eager and whose hands unknowingly stained the scenery, meticulously laid out, with pitch, just as your hands stained your work ruby red.