Kyle Hemmings

I Married a Circus Life


a flying trapeze of love
the circus breaks you.
i resign myself
to a porcelain pink
doll of Annie Oakley
missing a foot,
to my flame-swallowing beliefs
that always burn at the throat.


in the dressing room
i unbraid the high-wire girl
with my candy-apple songs
of first love.

When i burst her balloon
she whacks me with a whip
chokes me with the wraparound
of her licorice-stained tongue.


i run away from home.
an aging knife thrower takes me in.
at night he spreads sawdust
over me for good luck.
before our act
he covers me with grease-paint
and bear piss.
the knife twirls towards me
at amazing speed.
the scent of my piss mixes with the bear’s.
i can’t remember home.


the bearded woman
sashayed past a hall of mirrors.
men lined up straight as daggers.
in their bedrooms at night,
they could hardly breathe
next to their wives.
the wives couldn’t wake up.


a lion tamer fell in love with an alligator
the alligator fell in love with his teeth
i never dreamed of a love like that
always ending where it began


I lose my virginity to a girl wearing a clown mask

Kyle Hemmings latest collection of text and art is Amnesiacs of Summer published by Yavanika Press. He loves street photography, shuffle dancing, and 60s garage bands that never could score an album contract.
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