Black Leotard

Sandra Simonds

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There was one man, then two men, then three.
       The worst part of me did a somersault on the balance beam.
The bumblebee audience cooked to 103 degrees.
One man bumped the next one off the beam, then the next
       one did the same thing. I spent the day making sure I didn’t call
each one by the wrong name. When the married man talked about
       his wife, I cringed. When my husband threatened to take
          his own life, I cringed. When the man who was the innocent
bystander of all this didn’t say anything, the Russian judge
       gave him points he didn’t deserve out of pure fidelity. Then they called
my name and I knelt before all three as the winner put the bronze
          medal over my head. This book is a fable. It is an Old English riddle.
Want some? It is also a Koan: she who is wise puts
       down bread crumbs, never plays dumb, gets home before sunrise.


ART: Jenn Brehm, Jason Polan,
Grant Willing

FICTION: Kirby Johnson, Anjali Sachdeva, Chad Simpson, S. E. Smith

NONFICTION: Laura E. Davis, Aaron Gilbreath, Alexandra Kimball, Elena Passarello, Alison Stine

POETRY:Samuel Amadon, Will Arbery, Elizabeth Arnold, Melissa Broder, Kara Candito, John Lee Clark, Graham Foust, Kit Frick, Paul Killebrew, Kyle McCord, Shane McCrae, Geoffrey G. O'Brien, Sandra Simonds, Bruce Smith

ET CETERA: Flannery O'Connor Soundboard, Poetry Bingo

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