by Madeleine Corley


There’s a tent where the road dead ends:

elephants blow peanut dust into

bewildered children’s hair and acrobats

swing at unnetted heights as a tutued

bear juggles mangoes on a unicycle.

Flossing my teeth with twirl spun

sugar, it seems magic I don’t want

to drive my car into that tree anymore.

I find it sweet. Mom says I need

therapy and I splice her

commas with plums, lace the tool

that already plates my words small

with hope I leak sufficient juice to

distill & boil & boil & boil until

there’s enough in my mouth for rock

candy. Then, driving, I can suck

down the drear I catch doe eyed

in my headlights with a bit more gumption

and reroute my sadness to that

somewhere positive. How often I visit

this circus speaks to the forest.

When I reach the dead

end, I will peek past that

tacked down curtain, find the bear

dripping golden fruit onto its tongue,

stealing mangoes from the sky, hunger

so enticing she inhales any sun.


Madeleine Corley is a writer by internal monologue. She most identifies with Bow in She-Ra and The Princesses of Power. Currently, she serves as Poetry Editor at Barren Magazine. You can find her @madelinksi on Twitter and at her website




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