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Circus Salvation

Meg Pokrass

There was the day when the travelling circus moved into our living room. The clowns moved

in first. Mom offered them lemonade and couldn’t stop laughing. The bearded lady glided in,

winking at Dad, tickling his chin with her silky beard. Dad, who had long been unwell,

blushed around the ears. The strong man came in and plopped down on the living room sofa.

He sat on the crushed, stained cushions and sighed. You need a better couch, he told my

parents, as if it was time to take our lives seriously, to own chairs and living room furnishings

we felt good about. The aerialists flew in next, pulling cobwebs off the ceiling, throwing

them around like lassos. Mom never looked so pretty as she did that day with neon lights

illuminating the dark seeds in her eyes. We’ve needed new blood around here, Dad said,

levitating from his wheelchair, taking her in his arms.

Meg Pokrass is the author of nine collections of flash fiction and two novellas in flash. Her work has been published in three Norton anthologies of flash fiction including the recent Flash Fiction America, as well as The Best Small Fictions 2022 and 2023, Wigleaf Top 50; and hundreds of literary journals. Her new collection, The First Law of Holes: New and Selected Stories, is forthcoming from Dzanc Books in late 2024.

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