How To Swallow Swords

you made the offhand comment
that you would like to learn
how to swallow swords,
maybe to join a circus,
maybe just for a party trick.

This is good,
because I do it every day
and here is how:
stand up straight,
shoulders back,
and tilt the head
to open the throat.

Close the eyes,
breathe out and calm,
whatever you do
don’t waver this time
and just before
everything I have ever
meant to say to you
bursts out, gulp
and swallow it down,
swallow it down.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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