The better I get at barking, the more difficult it is
to realize pitch from product. It’s not that I can’t
recognize what a thing is, it’s simply easier
to walk down dark alleys when their walls
are covered in stars. And why not. Dress
truth in feathers and rhinestones. And
while I’m at it—Unicorns. Un-
icorns who (are) like me.
First circus I ever saw
had such a creature—
horn drilled into
the skull of
a goat. I
it was
fake form
the blood circling
the mount. But I chose
to see what the ringmaster told
me. I cried like a blind girl made to see.


NICELLE DAVIS is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist who walks the desert with her son J.J. in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. Her most recent collection, The Walled Wife, is available from Red Hen Press. In the Circus of You is available from Rose Metal Press. The author of two other books of poetry, Becoming Judas is available from Red Hen Press and her first book, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. Her poetry film collaborations with Cheryl Gross have been shown across the world. She currently teaches at Paraclete High School.

One response to “I Know How to Bark (The and/or of Reality)”

  1. a beautiful, strange, and uplifting piece. thank you!

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