the healing muse

Volume 13, 2013

Circus Man

Gaetan Sgro

His name was Daniel, and he had
no one, but knife-throwing eyes,
pachyderm skin and tobacco tar hands
to speak for him.

His legs were thin as wires, having
outrun lions, pinned in the end
by tumors, trampling
his heaving chest, his airway
closing like a fist.

He could not raise
his voice, had never
learned to write, could only

        I understand,
If you take the tube out—

        or No
I have no family
        or No
I do not want a priest
        and Yes, goddamn
I understand
        I understand
                I understand

We took it out—

And he never revealed how a man
swallows flame, how to sleep
among cats, how to fall
from a train

He just shuttered his eyes, leaving
only his name, which
was Daniel.

Back to Volume 13, Table of Contents

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