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  • My little canvas tent lists north toward the matching tent
    with Siamese twin girls conjoined at the heart.
    Two heads, three legs, one husband, Ralph,
    who makes money on the side selling favors
    I won’t describe. Just south, leaning away,
    stands the tent of the two-headed snake, the two-headed goat,
    the two-headed chicken and more. Beyond that is the geek
    who bites the heads off chickens, but not the two-headed one.
    I'm part of the freak show, but if you saw me among the freaks
    at Wal-Mart you might not notice me. I'd be one of the few
    normal-looking people, unless you caught my eye
    and I caught yours
    and saw.

    Seeing is my curse.
    I saw a man at Walgreens, a big man
    with heavy jowls and mottled purple skin. His eye rolled back
    in his head, but only in my mind's eye. I called 911
    and reported a heart attack and they arrived, just as he collapsed.
    They saved his life.
    I heard the EMT crew marveling about the phone call
    they got "before it even happened." I watched
    and did not step forward
    to claim the call. To take the credit. No one knows
    I saved that life and others like it.
    I had to. For balance. Deaths gather in me like snow.

    I hide inside my tent with my gypsy robes and crystal ball.
    Outside, a man tells his eager wife, “She’s fake.
    She has no gypsy blood," and probably he’s right,
    though black hair, burnt umber skin and eyes as black
    as holes cannot be purchased at the costume shop.
    My candles and crystal ball focus the customer, not me,
    ease the skepticism. I don't look into the ball; I look
    at them. They tell me everything,
    more than I tell them back. More than I want, more
    than I can hold. I am so full of deaths
    that my own death comes calling, hovers
    like a magnet, like a bag of ink and shit
    ready to burst above my head and darken
    at last, this cursed sight.
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