Her feet too weak

too soon release the handlebars

of the trapeze.

She plunges towards the black hole

of the trampoline.

She sinks in deep,

deeper than tension allows,

towards the ground

and under it,

bouncing out the other side

into a reverse circus:

For Skeletons.

They juggle their own bones

and walk unfazed through flaming hoops,

and drop limbs from the trapeze, piece

after piece reflecting off the trampoline.

No danger posed to perished folks,

that’s how it works in Underland.

But she’s not from around these parts,

or so they say,

or so they see,

her flesh too fresh to join the dead.

She’s caught somewhere right in between

by the ankles and propelled

through a limbo line in somersaults.

Rolling on her back, below

the bar set six feet high,

toppling tombstones like a bowling ball,

but with a lot more bruises.

Life is a delicate balancing act

that has to tip one way

or the other. On the surface

they’ll search for centuries

and call her name in every city

until her limbo line slants


The stand-in might just have to swing it.