SONGS FOR INSOMNIACS: walking the ropes

(song 9)

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I’m not a heart breaker, I don’t keep hearts in a glass jar, and juggling terrifies me

here is me on a tightrope high above the crowd, at least 75% of which is affirming that my fall is inevitable

i put my right foot forward, back, forward, back and leave a beat before pulling the main act from my backpack

packsack wickwhack give a dog a home

i’m sorry for the circus and the hoops and the funhouse and the dark between the spotlight

i’m sorry i was the one to show you how to balance these hearts

my only mentor Raguel, i pull out the hearts and stand firm

only those who can see subtleties understand the difficulty

when one heart begins to expand, and another contract, living in my own chest, i add some pink, some green, gold – the atomically correct models on my palms are, for the most part, representations

the slight shift in weight, the sigh to release pressure of a growing heart, and me testing my thighs as the hours crawl on, making a show of it as is expected

because the portion of the crowd that wants me to fall wants me to juggle

but i refuse, i haven’t juggled since the first time i was up here, chased onto the wire by threats of becoming homeless, the need to perform on the streets where the crowds are closer and less subtle about the desire for blood

so, i send them love from way above as my legs shake, as the timer keeps resetting and the eves go by

i’m sorry you need to know this

i’m sorry i asked you to hold my hand before i understood the ramifications

i’m sorry it’s so easy for me to hide the arduous nature of this task

it makes me look callous, i know, but if i did it any other way, they would start yelling and throwing stuffed tigers at me

trained, as they were, to ratchet up the pressure at the first sign of weakness

they feel disappointed without blood, and their experience counts, too, you know

some watching from backstage cross their legs and smoke their cigs, not a tell in sight

they know that when my toes start to ache, i’ll need to be caught

and somehow, up here is safer for now

Author: tendrilwise

Hi, I have a diploma in Journalism, I've published a novel, and I am currently studying psychology. My odd way of viewing the world either gets me kicked out of parties or invited to them. Jenn McKay

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