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CIRQUE

Gabrielle Barnett

Mountain Men Idle gossip brews with more coffee, mug and stove stoked, room wood-warmed against drizzle damp, low clouds funneling through the pass. So many chores waiting: haul, build, split, lay in, mend, feed, stack. Envy those cats, always napping when there’s work to be done. Talk turns steamy, beyond the new root cellar and leaky roof: who left who, why, when and how, running feuds, domestic and neighborly. “Tucker” Semaken’s Dogs Finish Strong Fire now crackling with a steady blaze, the rumor mill churns, cranked by a full pot of caffeine: custody suits, court proceedings, escalating beyond divorce, they’re calling it neglect, abuse, child endangerment; the bitch went and called DFYS, all over a little weed, and my thing for men, doesn’t make me a pederast, Kristin Berger does it? Men aren’t boys and we’re talking about a two year old and I wanna know, where are the stats on guys messing for Johanna & Joan with underage chicks: look at Vanessa, felt up by her mom’s new squeeze, did some time When you left us, crossed and he’s back on the scene, still into other mothers’ neighborhoods, lusting after those fresh teen tits, southerly and hot – out of arms’ reach – too much hot-blood in that Harley-riding man. a new language rolling

John Lyle

Border-Crossing: Nicaragua

Conversation drained to the dregs, damper closed, and pain set back on its shelf, he loads up rototiller and chainsaw, lurches on up the dirt road, “steep enough for a tank,” he always said, a fading southern queen keeping the homestead dream alive, just barely in the bush highway hum always drifting down valley with the clouds.

from your tongue like a song stirring a clay flute I knew you would find true center: the fountains and watering holes that replenish whole villages – hermana, tia, abuela bathing together out in the open where words slip like clothes into a siesta-heap of skirts and shawls I knew you would be recognizable, but lighter, like a bird after her first migration

Hourglass Under Construction

Kate Worthington

smelling of deep wells, red dust and the smoke of other mothers’ cookfires plaiting your still-wet hair.

Cirque, Vol. 4 No. 2  

A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim

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