The Trapeze Artist’s Dear John Letter

January 3, 2020

I recede like a vanishing point on my ribboned trapeze
and trust hamstring and calf’s steady marriage
when I hang from my knees.
Physics can name the force that pushes the bar away again.
I’d call it Fortune’s wheel or Tantalus’s fruit,
but then I’m the company tragedienne —
all good trapeze artists are. I no sooner arrive than leave.
I love you, I’m quitting you. I live my life between
the two meanings of cleave.

Carrie Etter

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