23 January 2012

auf wiedersehen spiegeltent – Zenobia Frost

auf wiedersehen spiegeltent by Zenobia Frost (24)


the circus is gone

big top

stripped to bone

wide-load giraffe

skeleton canters
in smoke and hammers

collapses collapses

ghosts of their shimmering

crushed into clay

at first light we steal glances

carnies disguised

as men unravel canvas

for one last act
The Great Vanishment


we return
to one-hearted one-steps

preacher calls to his lambs

bowler tumbling downarm

and we come


their suicides unwind

from sky-held ribbons

our strongest men

are not strong enough

our women cannot fly

that man is a tin soldier
he is all moving parts
that woman hovers
en pointe en tightrope
their drunken limbs forget
the ways they should not bend

we swallow whole words
and the lion obeys
with a wink in the glint of its fang

we cannot contort
our mouths
back into grins

they fold back into boxes
like costumes like paper
with string and bells secured to their toes