Finally, The Big Blue Carnival is coming to town. Who is to say I do not deserve a bite? My teeth bare just as bright as the rest and I swallow the ones who were beautifully named, name is what matters most in these places, right? The name, the au jus? Pavo Cristatus was teasing through grasses along the riverbank, coming to me across the water waving all the right feathers. So I lifted his food from the ground. I told him I would have the forest jump out of its skin before we mystify a live audience. I wanted silence and moonlight to savor the blood sweetly offered to my hands; there is no glory to be savored in the dead giveaway of human faces under stage light. My beloved big top is just a mile away. First breathe it in, boiling batter and drugged livestock. Then come. I’ll be in my new position on stage with Pavo, his shoulders strung into the long, smooth strips of my whip and his princely spine sleeping in the curve of my hoop. I will say his name when the applause turns delicious and I will tell them I do it all, why, I do all of it for him.

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