Big Top Winery

The Kerf (Poetry Journal)

I am tired
of riding with the dancing chickens.
The wailing DeMarco twins connected at an appendage
keep me awake between cities –
pleading for death.

I am tired
of the lights burning my eyes,
drying my skin like a raisin.
My hooves are split and putrid like a tender abscess –
you sashay me around and do not notice the pus squirting

in the barbed Bermuda grass.

I am tired
of the whores and needles you leave in the sawdust;
you shoot up before each show. I watch you.
You poke my hide and walk by in your saffron lame zip-up suit
picking your nose, breaking wind beneath my trunk.

Well master, I am tired of you.
So I pinch your head like a grape in a cask
of poisonous wine meeting its fate.

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* "Cheerful Gardner, The Human Pendulum", c. 1930, Photograph by Century Studios, From Spectacular Photographs: Unforgettable Faces, Facts and Feats, Courtesy Circus World Museum