cirque d’aigre-doux

For the pantomime sighs and joker-rouge smile...

      At the end, I winced;
    You had me near-convinced
        I was worthless.

            So desensitized
              To proof otherwise,
            I missed that you were mirthless.

        I fell far for lies;
      You were all of why
         I dared join the circus.

           Your inveigling eyes
             Were my trapeze,
            My tiger tamed at your knees;

        For the pantomime sighs
    And joker-rouge smile,
      I was caged all the while.

          It was but guise and guile;
           I hid the hints.
        I’ve loved you reluctantly since—

      Though none of us are faultless,
        Mine much at risk,
          I’m dumb, dauntless or both in this:

          Give me the flinch of fervid whips,
        Grounded and sore,
      In loving myself more

        Than you did.

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