The Dogpatch Burlesque

This is one of your tricks: lying
between two nail-studded boards
underneath piled up sandbags. Many
magicians rely on illusions; you
count on yourself to tolerate pain.
Safe from the mirrors and their
troubling effects inside of your
scourging, immovable shell, you wait
for the salve of a pleased crowd –
and Saturday nights in a waterfront
warehouse, snake charmers and
fire-eaters surround you and cheer.
Now you have plans to jazz up
your act with an eye-catching,
spine-tingling, spellbinding treat:
you’ve been looking for someone
to tap dance on top of you, you
and your coffin of nails. I’ve never
had those Cyd Charisse feet, but I’ll
work on your terms if you’ll work
on mine: I can do a shimmy, a slow,
seductive grind, tossing off
clothing with winks and one-liners
one piece at a time. You’ll feel
the weight of my body pressed
in delicate points on your eyelids,
the backs of your ankles, the top
of your spine. I’ll get closer
to you with your each gasp
and tremble, while the crowd
stomps and whistles and cries out
for more. This will be how
we make love from now on.

– Bonnie Johnson

Download “The Dogpatch Burlesque” as a PDF


Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Vol 1 Issue 1

Comments are closed.