• Victoria Chwa

circus freak

i would have thought i’d known by now

how to move with strings

tied to my wrists like a violin bow

wrung around clipped wings


our show begins at the gathering dusk

the puppeteer gets to work

i enter stage right – an empty husk

of a woman lost in the cirque


raise the curtains! the puppeteer says

act one shall now commence

i dance and dance in pairs of pairs

– an act of violence


they’re watching me, i know they are

like a whispering circus campaign

they place their bets, they go too far

still i stand and dance again


i stand and sit i stand and sit

so immaculate is this game

at the end of the show, i stand and sit

and the puppeteer calls again


i lie awake and now i see

the word ‘disinfect’ in front of me

i blink my eyes, the puppeteer glees

and lights up the marquee

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