The Bearded Lady

Her crimson tent
Had two rooms —
And she mostly passed
In silent whispers
From one world
To another,
Among the rumbling wheels
That carried the sideshow.

And in silence
She would step into the light
To collect their eyes
And words.
(How much is revealed
In the gaze of those
Who only see surface.)

She could delight
In the openness
Of observation,
Uncovering judgement,
Disgust and derision,
As the watchers
Exposed themselves
To the risk
Of being known.
And what they thought they knew
Was nothing.

She could tell you
All about the consumption,
And how one can want
Without needing.
Or how an eye that worships
These shapes from afar —
Curve of hip
And slant of eye —
Need not bare all
Or bed them
To know what it means
To love.

A magician outside
Juggled nickels
And knucklebones.
Night gathered
And grew,
As the gawkers
Cut a path
To home
Sweet home.

But the lucky —
Those few who lingered
When the light went dim
And she beat
An inner sanctum
Retreat —
Refugees from the real —
Could listen to
A cricket chorus scream,
The barker’s
Footstep offbeat,
Catch the hissing of a teapot.

Inside, she smelled
Of leaf mould and mint,
And she’d undress
In the naked light
Of a candle,
Let the silence
Envelop her
As she opened a vein
To unpour another day’s
Worth of knowing.

And if you do not stay,
You’ll never hear
How blood can sing.


About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

One response to “The Bearded Lady”

  1. brian miller says :

    wow this is a beautiful piece…marvelous story telling and some really cool textures to it…like the magician juggling knucklbones…cool…but i love the messages as well…most of all…Need not bare all
    Or bed them
    To know what it means
    To love….truth…

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