What Nobody Told You
What nobody told you was my imaginary sister's twin drowned. My imaginary sister's twin whom you knew who drowned was as you remember a little too reckless, confident, even nonchalant. You and I, and even my imaginary sister, we were acceptable amounts of those but not the twin, oh no, she was playing down by the river and slipped in and washed away, just like that, banged up on boulders, unable to breathe, that was her, maybe you saw her go by but there was nothing you could do, was there? She led us a merry chase, didn't she, among the trees, up the crumbling bluff, all those scenes before you moved away to the city and I guess we just forgot to tell you. No one believes in twins anymore anyway. And she was the least plausible twin, only doing enough homework so they'd know she was brilliant, never enough to pass. We never found the body, but that's the problem with imaginary sisters' twins, right? Our imaginary parents keep hoping, but that's the feeling imagination resorts to when reality is pretty much done with us. They've never been the same, though, need closure, maybe we all do, maybe that's why after all this time I'm writing you.
This is my trapeze. I swing on it alone, only, though I know from my training the most impossible acts are accomplished in pairs and trios. When a quartet swapped partners, I saw the hideous collision. I like it slow, nobody likes it as slow as I do, each leg and every arm its own suspended, stressed balance as I hang-spin-turn-inside-out. I have not fallen since I was ten. I do not like the net, the ropeburns. Don't think I'm a flop, nothing further from the truth, couples who see me may have to sneak out for a half-hour in the shadow of the tent, come back with grass-stains and stunned eyes. An old, old man last week, his name was Hugo, Felt my bicep, asked who was the lucky man? No, Hugo, that wasn't part of the plan. A shame, he said, because he didn't understand. Nor Hugo nor anyone knows the muscled wind up there, how it pulls, it pushes me so I must press into all moments, how keeping myself in motion and alive takes all my sky and time.