Master of audience arousal—

I was born. 

I turned six.

Then I joined the circus. 

Mother was already a trapeze babe, and father was one of those hobo clowns; the main act at this one-ring circus. 

This poor, old, dirty circus.

I was six, agile and terribly hilarious. 

I’d learn to paint my own face like a clown, with father’s make-up while he slept. 

I’d kiss him all up, and leave him with remnants of my hilarity. 

Is there such a thing as a trapeze clown?

Of course there was.

I didn’t want too much attention, just enough. 

When night came, and mother and father hit the stage, I’d rehearse my one-woman act on the wet soil. 

I’d paint my face again, just like I’d done the night before, and the night before that.

Put on my leotard and murmur jokes and somersaults to the wind. 

I’d pretend to be killed at the guillotine. 

Pretend to be a chicken while the world ended.

Everyone here was a collection of strange people, only you wouldn’t really know it. 

Their curios were marbled cake inside them.

They ate volcanic rocks with their beans and pierced their ears with machetes. 

They bathed with the blood of their enemies and drank heavy of their sorrows. 

They were tiny giants.

Tall monsters.

Tattooed skeletons.

Phantom museums.

Deviled eggs gone ripe.

Pretty fat things with feelings.

I was one of them. 

Even at six, I knew what it felt like to bathe with the enemy. 

I knew of tiny giants inside me. 

I longed to show this pain onstage. I hoped for this sacred dance to bring upon the rain. 

Mother and Father never paid much attention to my sacred dances. 

They were too busy practicing, cooking, stretching, yelling, singing, fucking, sleeping.

I never did sleep much. 

I mostly dreamt with eyes open. Kept my hand tucked warmly between my thighs.

A pocket of secrets. 

I wanted to be like Eve Fliegen, who lived solely on the smell of flowers. 

I wanted to live solely by the smell of my own flower. 

Constantly aware of her scent.

Home on my fingers.

There is no shame on these digits.

I suck at them like bees do honey, like lovers suck tongues, like love sucks souls. 

I mostly danced for the night.

Mimicking buzzing insects, hot coffee, flickering stars.

I’d lived inside a recycled box since birth. Once out of the womb, I twisted myself into a ghastly Queen. 

I had two mouths.

One on my face, the other, my cunt.

They spoke at once.

One loved you.  

The other despised you.

Trick was, you never knew which one would feel what.

I created a whole act, where I’d spit at my own face and lick it up. 

I wanted to be MacBeth giving birth to himself.

I wanted volcanoes to erupt, for fruit trees to drop their low hanging fruit for everyone to enjoy. 

I wanted hair to sprout from all corners of me, hang my lovers there, like ornaments. Keeping love in close proximity.

Try as I might, nothing truly happened. 

No one ever paid attention.

Mother and Father always fell asleep at the same time, right after they ate the same dinner as the night before. 

I’d crawl into bed with them, right in the middle, as they snored and slept turned away from each other.

Their warmth enraptured. 

I’d picture me the core of the sun, budding.

It was the best show I’d ever seen. 

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