By day, you bleed for him, shed big toenail,
tear skin, raw opening he’ll wiggle in,
your bustle hoop skirt crinoline. Females
a corps descend surround his secret sin.
By night, you bleed within, a sacrifice
that does not end at barre or with your art —
new bruises, uses, love you pay for twice,
pink tights, fishnets, careless rips of heart.
In dreams, you see all of them. His face becomes
a hundred men. First taught you to pretend,
bequeathing punishment with sugarplums.
You bite your lip and let them in again.
Their fingers shape you into what they see.
For them, you suffer this choreography.
Note from the author: I’m working on a new book A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony that is about a dancer who is dollhoused, shrunken by a wizard and kept in a dollhouse a captive. It’s a collaborative chapbook involving two of my very good friends who write poems as the two other characters in the book. Justin Karcher is the wizard, and Tianna Hansen is a frenemy ballerina who sells me to him to make me small and remove me as competition.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart & Best of the nominated poet from Pensacola and a sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked magazines like Five: 2: One, Yes, Glass, Former Cactus, Occulum, Drunk Monkeys, Luna Luna, TERSE. Journal and many more. Her chapbook Pink Plastic House is available from Maverick Duck Press, and she has another Pensacola Girls from Bone & Ink Press. She has two forthcoming: Shakespeare for Sociopaths (The Hedgehog Poetry Press Jan 2019) and Puritan U (Rhythm & Bones Press March 2019). She also has a full length upcoming Candy Cigarette from Hedgehog Poetry in April. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie), her weekly poetry column The Sonnetarium and her website (kristingarth.com).