A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

Calliope, the Carnival Doll

by Jennifer Reeser

Underneath red tights will disappear the welt.
Punishment put out of sight. Not here, the welt.

Ringmaster carries quite a whip below his belt.
His boot is buttoned white, against a leather welt.

Seized illegal, and by night—a poacher’s pelt—
Who performs so well, despite a throbbing welt?

Did I arise to flight, whereas I should have knelt?
Steam whistle song reciting, let it ease the welt.

Circus snow cone, fright and cotton candy: melt.
Philippe Petit, be my upright, my slipper’s welt.

Transfer into light the darkness he has dealt.
Maybe second sight could better judge a welt.

I have the height—a high-wire walker, mull, faille, felt:
Calliope, the brave and bright a muse has welt.

Jennifer Reeser is the author of two full-length poetry collections, An Alabaster Flask, winner of the Word Press First Book Prize, and Winterproof , and also the author of the cycle Sonnets from the Dark Lady. Her poems, essays, and translations of  Russian and French literature appear internationally in such journals as Poetry, Salt, The Formalist, and The Dark Horse.


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