you must be at least three feet tall to enjoy this ride

July 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

the circus children barely sleep.
they lie awake in their cots outside of the trailers,
staring upward at the depth of the sky with their legs
tangled in a single sheet and their stomachs talking.

they contort their bodies in their sleep, performing
for the unconscious like the fever dreams of
children in the city. they can only imagine.

the tent sprawls across the prairie and its shadows are
as ominous as they are vast. the two headed dogs who spit when they
bark and bare a sharp grin whimper as the darkness shapes itself over
their eyes. they flee into their cells and wait for the lights to come on and
for the wind to settle.

the tallest man in the world offers his arms to the newborn.
he crosses his arms over his chest and the elephants carry the little ones
in their trunks and place them in the dips of his ribcage.
they sway side to side with each breath. the older
children braid his hair and jumprope while he sleeps.

and the siamese twins. they are the kindest of the children on the grounds.
they teach the others how to share and how to eat off of the same plate.
on summer afternoons, they sit out underneath the lion’s mane and
collect a nickel for every child who dares to feel the heartbeat they share.

when night falls, the children wake up to the laughter of city children
tugging at the curtains. they see the families crowding the landscape like
tall grasses along the horizon line and the tiny boxes of light that scatter
the night are the remaining few making their beds for dawn.
the children put on their suits and flood into the tent faster than the sun can set.
they line up one by one and curl their toes in anticipation.

under the yellow light, the city children hold their breaths
and furrow their brows as though they have seen this before.

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