Poetry by JF Kuehnen

Tightrope

All that should be, will be.

I am invincible, untouchable.

 

Tomorrow I’m going out west to join the circus.

If I want to be a fire-eater, I will.

At first I will burn my mouth,

But I’m sure the lion tamer will show me

a trick from when he used to do it.

 

I’ll join the circus to have little children get cotton candy in my hair,

And pull on my pant leg,

“Where’s the bathroom, mister?”

I’ll join the circus and start at the bottom,

Working my way up.

 

I’m going to the circus,

I’m going to buy a bus ticket,

And quit my job.

 

To practice my skills the whole way

I’m going to buy impregnated matches from the man.

They’re safe, and made in Sweden.

Yes. I am going.

I can do it.

 

They’ll take me right in once they see my talents.

They’ll fall in love with me,

And next thing you know,

I’ll be walking the tightrope.

 

Four years later:

First time on the tightrope.

Falls.

Didn’t think he’d need a safety net.

Stops falling.

Dust flies up.

The elephants stand still.

The audience is silent.

And some brat drops his cotton candy.

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