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three-ring circus

Peg Duthie

because i’m drawn to your tightropes,
their solid, stolid tension

as they anchor my wrists
and slash across my shoulders

and because the doorknobs and the latches
throw strange glints into the ordinary shapes

of shadows playing across the bedroom walls
become merry and magnified with the silent brightness

of unvoiced expectations, of linens lovingly bleached
by fresh sunshine and sanded by brisk winds

to bedeck the not unpleasant, not unsatisfying everyness
of the days and the nights already bountiful

with ringmasters, liontamers, clowns and dancers,
a well-tried safety net, the softness of lavish sawdust

yet this would not be the stuff of parade and dream
were it not for your flaming hoops, the happiness of your knives.

Peg Duthie

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