v e r t i g o

tonight, I walk a fine line

four stories high

north by north west

at the behest of a love

that became a circus

a side show

in time

I have learned

to live with the vertigo

and so—

convincingly serene

my petite, ballerina feet

lipstick hue hibiscus pink

waist cinched

the hypnotic glint

of a sequin adorned corset

diminutive parasol in hand

the audience demands

feminine equilibrium

so I hover just above oblivion

the show must go on

this performance must suffice

just a pretty, porcelain swan

waltzing at such great heights

my high wire stepford smile

distracts from the bloody nose

for on this razor’s edge

the greatest display of treachery 

is my own

| a. duncan, 2019 |



 (The Circus Animals’ Desertion, 1937) By William Butler Yeats

(Tightrope Ballerina, 1930) By Gifford Beal


Are we alive?
Or are we dreaming?
After the ride
Are you leaving?

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Amor et melle et felle est fecundissimus || Love is rich with both honey and venom

13 thoughts on “v e r t i g o

  1. This was such a vivid read! 😀 Could picture the scene perfectly – great words about concealing your crumbling core beneath a dazzling facade of wonder & hiding your inner demons from an adoring crowd.


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