Circus Rant

The circus made its way to the small town through the old road. Snipers and soldiers let the performers and animals roll through without question because they knew that when it was finally set up, they’d get to take some time off and enjoy a good show. The circus was small, with its robust array of women, men, children and animals. Strong bodied humans with full smiles. Antonio, or “Tony” was a young, dark, short but handsome carney that had joined the circus about a month or so before they reached the small town. He had been living and working inside a shoe store, and was tired of looking at grown soldiers feet, so one night, without a sound, he snuck away and joined the circus.

The hiring process wasn’t exactly hard. All you had to be was stout and willing. He packed light and made his way to the bunk he’d be sharing with fifteen other performers and carneys. The bed looked soft and clean, but the air smelled of talcum, sweat and cigarettes. The room buzzed with whispers and laughter, and as he settled into bed, he was offered a joint by a beautiful trapeze girl that had made her way into their space. She held it to his lips and instructed him to “let it fly you into sleep.”

When he woke in the morning, he couldn’t recall falling asleep, he just remembered watching the glitter on the pretty trapeze girl’s face twinkle when she laughed. He remembered her tomato mouth, her black eyes. He remembered a low breathy trumpet player practicing in the distance, and by the sound of it, he thought, there was a fog catching hold of the notes before they reached his ears. Not much else came to mind when he wiggled around trying to shake his limbs awake. He still had on his shoes and his fingers were stained red. He licked them, swallowed and tasted her spit.

This is how my parents met.  


wait till after

I’m being lead into a period of waiting,
A place where silence understands its great voice/
A place for me to rest the heavy bones
I’ve carried like a sword inside my throat/
I’m equipped for fingers,
gliding on skin/
planes in the crux of my longing/
you keep me at arm’s length,
in order to avail the buzzing of my delicate/
you want my arms around you like stable orbits,
planets dancing inside dwellings/
a steady cadence for the opus of your heart against my ear/
you correct my syntax,
suggest softened edges/
I’m no longer a missile
no self-inflicted fractions
exhausted of tradition,
I’ve prescribed new paths,
a remedy for my outsides
I’m ok with misconceptions,
that unearthing
will cement”


Ingrid Calderon is a refugee who scribbles nonsense and makes it into verse. She hopes it resonates. Her goal is to be an anonymous voice that cuddles the masses. You can find her on Twitter @BrujaLamatepec