Liz Robbins

 

 

 

Knife Thrower’s Assistant

 

He scored the world record, outlining
my tiny body with eight steel hatchets
thrown in thirty seconds. But it's not
the scariest thing I've done. Miles away,
I watch our show's spotlight cut a wide
swath in the black sky, while gold birds
bang my ribs. My doodles fast strokes 
with a thick pen, my lunch raw fish. 
I love the clouds' rush to mask the sun, 
just before a storm. Take my picture, 
quick, buy us shots of coconut rum. 
Show me your bullet collection, and 
I'll tell you about Pompeii, whole people
in seconds gone to ash. I stay up late 
till I'm at sleep's edge, then dive in bed
like a jumper from a bridge. In both 
pockets, scratch-offs. Tickets from 
the dog races Friday night. I don't believe
in God, I confess. But I got married last 
May, my hair strung with violets. Never
had my body been so tender, as I swept 
down the long blank dress.