The Knife-Thrower Cannot Practice His Art with Pillows and Chocolates

Jeff Mock

Spring 2018

Additionally, he needs a living
Assistant, someone who

Can curse his aim
Well when it needs

Cursing. He prefers someone
Named Lola, but you

Will do just fine—a target,
But not the one he aims for.

He promises to keep it simple:
One knife at a time.

You hope he’s good. In a way,
He’s as handsome as every lover

Who took his chance and left
A knife in your heart. Now

Here you are again,
Strapped, wrists and ankles,

To the spinning wheel. He winks
And starts you spinning. Sure,

You know just how
This will end, but all

You want is for him to learn
Exactly how to miss you.

Jeff Mock is the author of Ruthless (Three Candles Press, 2010). His poems appear in American Poetry Review, the Atlantic Monthly, the Georgia Review, the Iowa Review, New England Review, the North American Review, Shenandoah, the Southern Review, and elsewhere. He teaches in the MFA program at Southern Connecticut State University.

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