Her life is the wire—she can never come down.
Sometimes she stops and sits on it to eat,
even sleeps there, her whole body stretched
as the wire is stretched. In sleep
she keeps her balance,
feet curled like a monkey’s
the habit of grasping:

she has never fallen.
She never will, not entirely.
Once in a while a slip
causes her to hang for a moment by her hands.
It isn’t the danger of falling that slices through her dreams
but the wire itself, drawing
a line through her body,
leaving a mark on the soles of her feet,

her buttocks, her back.
If she were to cut the wire (she dreams of this)
the sky would break like a mirror into the sea
and nothing would be whole again.
Virgin of the Apocalypse standing on a crescent moon,
she is keeping
Heaven and Earth apart.

Copyright © 2005 by Victoria Hallerman. From The Aerialist. Reprinted with permission of Bright Hill Press.