This Circus Never Breaks (unlike my back)

I am sister to that goose-gray elephant balancer,
I set the stage for her cool and slanted ride.
I am the one who
stands against the wall.

Sometimes I hold a knife
between my teeth,
sharpening an eye on its
thin brilliance.
I hold out my arms
standing spread-eagled
half-listening to the timed patter
waiting for the perfect set of blows –
thunk
thunk
thunk

(punctuated by their half-gasps)
and I open my eyes and step out smiling,
leaving my handled silhouette.

Continue reading This Circus Never Breaks (unlike my back)

elephant girl

These carnival visions
that possess me with their
weird glimpses of sawdust, and swaying
mis-shapes, slimness:

My other girl the elephant
runner into the grey pack
she is spangle & blink, paint
glitter & perpetual substitute
as if she don’t know
but what she don’t know
can’t make her a shame
of her many acrobatics –
in the cool darkness of that
greenback tent, his fat-handed grope
won’t go unrewarded.
She turns her head to face
the crack of light
that flashes from beneath the canvas
edge, white as a blade.

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