circus bodies on the playa

contort through hoops of fire


this powerlessness

(it’s not my scene)


you drive west toward kindred spirits

(leaving kin behind)


to call out Mephistopheles

daring the devil to show his face


looking for God

in heat waves on the horizon


in psychedelic spirit walks

blistering the earth


I pray behind the tulip beds

tended by the children last fall


while you carve your cathedral

out of sand

where no life exists

(no need to hang the food bag)


except in this one holy week

when pilgrims trek

carrying water and contraband

across state lines


(it’s not my scene)


to tempt temptation

in the swirling heat

and the twirling bodies

and the dancing fire

and the thieving winds

(must remember to come home

and let the dog out)


walk carefully past the singing gypsies

with their dancing bells

and their sticky fingers 


away from the open arms

of the painted women

for whom I do not exist

despite the indelible impression

of my body on your skin


(my wife’s a poet

it’s not her scene)


away from the edge

of life-as-you-know-it

(you cannot survive the fall





the desert will drink us whole

leaving only shards of glass

and wooden splinters

where we were drops of oil


(it’s not my scene)





copyright Megan E. Freeman, published in Lessons on Sleeping Alone, 2015







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Megan E. Freeman 2019