Her feet too weak
too soon release the handlebars
of the trapeze.
She plunges towards the black hole
of the trampoline.
She sinks in deep,
deeper than tension allows,
towards the ground
and under it,
bouncing out the other side
into a reverse circus:
They juggle their own bones
and walk unfazed through flaming hoops,
and drop limbs from the trapeze, piece
after piece reflecting off the trampoline.
No danger posed to perished folks,
that’s how it works in Underland.
But she’s not from around these parts,
or so they say,
or so they see,
her flesh too fresh to join the dead.
She’s caught somewhere right in between
by the ankles and propelled
through a limbo line in somersaults.
Rolling on her back, below
the bar set six feet high,
toppling tombstones like a bowling ball,
but with a lot more bruises.
Life is a delicate balancing act
that has to tip one way
or the other. On the surface
they’ll search for centuries
and call her name in every city
until her limbo line slants
The stand-in might just have to swing it.