“Cotton Candy” by Jennifer Nguyễn1 min read

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Illustration by Anderson Lee

The lonely moon hangs in the sky
waiting for the stars to come out and play
Once the curtain of night falls
it is a lighthouse for those lost at sea
But daylight drags on
keeping the darkness at bay

These balmy summer nights defy time
enveloped in the pale blue of dusk
streaked with wispy pink clouds
like a child has adorned the sky with cotton candy

This child held his father’s hand
at the carnival that came to town every summer
The tinkling music of the merry go round
The aroma of buttered popcorn
The excited chatter floating in the air
outstretched their arms and
embraced him like home

When his hands became sticky from too much cotton candy
his father would laugh and call him a silly boy
before winning a giant plush toy for him
the grand finale before the drive home

But this child became a man
the carnival, an acrylic painting
left in the sun for too long

As he lifts his eyes skyward
his demons are blind to him
if only temporarily

Before they thrash to the surface again,
he closes his eyes
tries to stop the hourglass
and thanks his younger self for the sky above him


Jennifer Nguyễn is a Vietnamese Canadian writer that enjoys exploring the melancholy of life, sprinkling her stories with a dash of hopefulness. Though she’s loved creative writing since she was a kid, she’s spent most of her professional career copywriting for businesses. Now her goal is to focus more on writing that feeds the soul. Jennifer hopes that her work will be read and enjoyed widely in publications like Ricepaper Magazine.

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