Albino Sword Swallower at a Carnival
I swallow your dreadful imagination
of what it must be like, relaxing
into the steel’s cold descent, the tip
searching for my heart, my gut,
your guts writhing in their own chill.
It’s sex, food, everything you desire and
love and fear disappearing into me
only to reappear bloodless as Excalibur
slipping from stone’s gullet, shimmering
in the spotlight of relieved applause,
your faces whiter than mine.
The pose I strike imitates what balances
above the ecstatic tilt of my head,
a jeweled sign of redemption, simple marker
over a grave in a faraway place where
a new crowd pales, anticipating the worst.
Steve Abbott is a former alternative press editor/writer, criminal defendant, delivery truck driver, courtroom bailiff, private investigator, information director for a social service agency, and college professor. He is founder and remains a co-host of The Poetry Forum, a weekly reading series now in its 34th year in Columbus, Ohio. He has edited two anthologies and published five chapbooks and a live CD. His full-length collection A Green Line Between Green Fields (Kattywompus Press) was released in 2018. He has never danced the macarena.
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