Three Poems

Alex Stolis

Photo Credit: anyjazz65/Flickr (CC-by-nc)

Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife
August 1 — St. John, N.B. Canada

I keep all your letters in a cigar box under our bed
next to grandmother’s wedding dress. This is a city
of ghosts of bars of brown pastures. You send me
postcards from all the places I’ll never go. They are
on a map I do not own. I am left with ink on fingers,
smudges of black on white on an unpunctuated loss.
Truth is something only paper can be witness to. I’ll
never wear that dress. Instead, I’ll meet you where
the earth is covered in blues and greens.


Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife
August 2 — Woodstock, N.B. Canada

I’m a girl on a dragon-fly on the back of a horse heading
straight into the wind under an unbreakable sky. You are
not here. You are made-up words in an invented language
spoken in whispers. I remember every detail of the world
we created from scratch. I remember that day the moon
eclipsed the sun and for a moment the earth turned cold.
The sky turned deep green no stars in sight. You wrote me
of a dream you had; lost, afraid and miles away from home.
You heard the low beat of wings. You felt the steady pound
of hooves and I readied myself for flight.


Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife
August 3 — Edmundston, N.B. Canada

Disregard my last letter. If you have not yet received it
bury it away when you do. I’ve tried to stop loving you.
It’s easier than I thought. Miles and time only sharpens
every memory. You would no longer recognize the land
but the sky is the same. I look up at your moon and your
stars. Imagine a blanket of quiet descends on us. I close
my eyes, can almost hear nothing. I’m an experiment in
exile. We don’t ever really lie. We believe and then find
out later we were wrong.


I have used the Al G. Barnes Circus Route from 1934 which began its season March 31 in San Diego, made a circuit through the United States and Canada and ended the season October 29 in El Centro, Ca. Each part of this series consists of one month from the season, April-October. The intention is for the work, as a whole, to be a narrative; a novella in chapbook/prose form. The original concept included photos as part of the narrative. The first four parts are completed. The entirety of part four was published in Verse. Individual poems have appeared in Drunken Monkeys, Autumn Sky, Blinders and Origami Poetry Project. Email: stolisalex[at]

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