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Jonathan Austin, fire juggler & magician

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Sword Swallower

Barker: Step right up! Step right up!
See the Sword Swallower while he still has life!
He defies death each time he picks up his knife.

The Sword Swallower: I ain’t never spoken,
never once, not one
word, frozen
and mute as a statue.
I’d stare right at you
with eyes that defied
you to question
my talent for expression.
“Was it the frog in his throat
he had meant to kill?”

Had some thing surprised
or otherwise
made me slip unawares?

The stares
were discouraged
but no one cared.

A crowd pressed close around
the gruesome scene.

Tightrope Walker: The sword swallower seemed
horrified.
His eyes
light-bulb wide,
his mouth a frozen gash,
his throat slashed,
like a samurai’s belly
after hari-kari.

The gore
was unimaginable.

No one knew
what he'd meant to do
but the result
was certain.

Curtains.

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