Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Eric Morago

Circus Love

You're a big top circus—everything a boy dreams
of discovering under a red tent. The most dazzling woman

I've ever seen in a sequin leotard on top of an elephant.
You smell like peanuts, and I love peanuts, almost as much

as your sticky cotton candy kisses. When you perform
your acrobatic feats I want to enroll in contortionist school

just so I can learn to bend like you. You've got a flair
for the dangerous—you swallow swords, juggle knives,

and breathe fire, all while riding a unicycle. Baby, you put the pa
in panache, so much so that those Ringling Brothers have

forfeited the title, greatest show on Earth to you. If I could
I'd be the trapeze you'd swing from, the tightrope you'd walk on,

and the safety net just in case you decided to fall for me.
What I wouldn't give to be the facial hair on your bearded lady,

your strongman's handlebar mustache, or your human
cannonball act. You make me want to wear over-sized shoes

and pants, change my name to Bozo and dance with a grizzly
bear in a tutu if it meant I had any chance of squeezing

into your clown car heart. But you are too savage a beast
for silliness like that—a wild lioness I'd never try to tame.

Instead, I'd gently request you open your mouth just wide
enough for me to rest my brow on your pink tongue,

where I would then wait patiently for your jaws to clamp shut,
so I could finally feel what it's like to lose my head.

Page 37 of Cosmo Offers, How to Find His G Spot

She considers reading the article,
before putting the magazine down
and sinking lower into the cushions
of her sofa with mixed drink in hand,

a spiced rum concoction that tastes
like vacation. It has been a long day.
Seven, her watch says, reminding her
she's running late for dinner.

At that moment she imagines him
chopping vegetables or seasoning fish.
Stuffed salmon. She hates the stuff.
It reminds her of her grandfather,

a fisherman, whose sun-chapped
hands always reeked from chum.
She could—should—have said,
no thanks, but didn't.

He was just too sweet—The type
of guy she's promised herself
she'd try dating at least once
                    but never has.

The kind that are as dependable
as a magazine subscription,
as dangerous as a paper cut.
She calls and he answers.

Um sorry it's last minute, but
a friend I haven't seen in a while
is in town. How about a rain check?

She hopes her lie is so obvious,
she never has to tell him the truth.
Sure, he says. Goodbye,
and she hangs up the line.

Finishing the rum,
she puts down the empty glass,
picks up Cosmo, and turns
to page 37.

BIO:  Eric Morago is in the MFA Creative Writing Poetry Program at California State University Long Beach. His poetry has appeared in California State University's Literary Journal, RipRap, as well as in Carving in Bone: An Anthology of Orange County Poetry, published by Moon Tide Press. He is very active in the Los Angeles and Orange County performance poetry scene and has competed in poetry slams.