Surgeon Magician

Blisters on my stomach
opened to his touch each night
evening primrose
stem wrapped around spider fingers

I burned my way out of our theater
dancing up through the chimney
with yesterday’s newspaper ashes

So he pushed me down
on a surgeon magician’s steel table
black velvet curtain
hung with rusty nails

I should have picked up my skirts and left
but an audience mumbled before us
eating peanuts and adjusting their daughters’ collars
I would have asked for the saw
if my mouth wasn’t so full of teeth

Blisters on my stomach
closed again in the morning
I avoided the funhouse mirror
forgot enough to crawl back into his hat

Whispering to myself:
the show must go on
and I can either go along with it
or let it leave tire marks on my back

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