The Acrobat

By Celia Dropkin

I am an acrobat,
and I dance between daggers
erected in the ring
tips up.
My lithe body—barely
touching the blades—
eludes death-by-falling.

They hold their breath
when they watch me dance,
and there is always
someone praying for me.
The tips shine in a fiery
circle—no one knows
how much I’d like to slip.

I’m tired of dancing between you,
cold steel daggers.
I want—my blood warming
your bare tips—
to fall.

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