by Jodi MacArthur
I don’t like the birds that fly at night. When I close my eyes, I feel midnight feathers tickle my throat, teasing like blades. Blades, sharp and short, like the ones Goliath throws at me when I am all tied up on the spinning wheel. I ran away to the circus, missed it by a day, and found the carnival instead.
The wheel spins around, around, around…the mess of velvet sky mixes with sharpened steel. Knifepoint misses my skin by threads. Air tickles my throat like feathers, midnight feathers. And when the show is over, when the gawking crowds go home, Goliath cuts me loose and I fall into the hay behind the tent. I hear the birds, their screech echoes across the velvet sky. My tongue searches the hollow rut at the back of my mouth. I wish I had found the circus. I don’t like the birds that fly at night.