The two-headed pig was jammed into a jar
so I couldn’t tell it from the cat with two bodies

or the cloven-hoofed devil baby discovered
dead in a dumpster in New Jersey but Snake Girl
was alive— no arms, no legs, no bones in her body.
The word illusion floated, pale grey, like a misty ocean

underneath her name, but I was distracted
by two men hosing down the world’s smallest horse

so I only remembered that later.  Snake Girl
was alive, a woman in her twenties, her head stuck

through a hole in a fake table and wound around
with perfect fake snake coils. She wore her hair

in bangs and flicked her eyes from side to side
but mostly she looked tired. I asked her how she was,

she answered: cold. After that, there wasn’t much to say.
I wandered up and down; I couldn’t go. The horse

looked like a long-necked, stump legged dog and I,
well,  I’d finally figured out I was part of the show.

Hayden Saunier’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Rattle, Nimrod, Margie, 5 A.M., Drunken Boat and Philadelphia Stories. Her book of poetry, Tips For Domestic Travel, is due out in Spring 2009 from Black Lawrence Press.

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