Mom’s first word was the cannonball
she became. Shot out of moving cars.
Soon she’d chanted herself deaf. Picked up
ring toss, porcelain plates at our open mouths.
Sister was a natural, like some Roman gladiator.
On stage she was herself, and all acrobatic.
Clinical. Disinterested. Deserving of better pay.
Fed up with fire-breath and nets.
Descendant of an amnesiac of a juggler,
six scars on my skull mark my Father’s
missing hands. A Bozo bloodline.
Sideshow freak’s genes.
Four strangers and our sleight of palms.
Parlor games and card tricks. Kitchen filled
with featured players and four empty seats.
A bang, and some smoke, then us, out of sight.
The vanishing act isn’t always about hiding.