offering 1

By Jenni O’Rourke

There are no locks
on circus tents.
She lies awake at night to the sound
of fireflies, jealous winds
blow in their wings and
through the temporary boudoir.

Born with a second sight
she’s paralyzed with seizures
of everyone’s unknown.
Their future tumors are her
morning coffee, their lotteries
her curse.

The other gypsy women force feed
towny wives fake love
potions; promising that the elixirs
will make their husband’s
impotence a thing
of the past.

The men have to swindle fake
silver to the husbands
and promise that it will tarnish
gracefully, unlike their love
lives.

They keep the high priestess
hidden until showtime;
she can’t look into the
vacant pools and fill them
with hope or despair
until they’ve paid
their two dollars.

To hear love or longevity
meant death on a toilet
or a mountain lion would
eat your bunny.

She wants to listen to
jazz records and chew
bubble gum and taste
coca-cola in a drive
thru theatre.

This blood is dirty
to the blind blonde
culture and they won’t
stand for her reading
their books, watching
their televisions or dating
sons and heirs.

Welcomed with hot soup,
live music, earning her keep by
telling strangers not to cross the street,

She stays where she’s worshipped.

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