If Siegfried And Roy Had Never Met
by Caitlin Doyle
No flaming ring. No disappearing elephant.
Siegfried behind a circus booth in Munich, half
an apple on his palm. He holds it out to show
the children it’s real. See the seeds.
Roy at the Bremen Zoo, locking
eyes with the tigers, making sounds
that straighten their ears. They tilt
their heads. Their tails craze with flicking.
And Siegfried: a silk scarf in his other
hand. He whips it through the air
until it blurs into a wheel. The apple will be whole
again on the count of three. One. Two.
But an ice cream bell. The children running away.
And Roy: reaching through the bars.
No theatre rigged with mirrors, no double-
chambered boxes. It’s only in Siegfried’s dream
a trapdoor opens on him like a mouth,
only in Roy’s dream a mouth closes on him
like a trapdoor. The tiger’s teeth
sink into nothing, obscured
by smoke. The applause is never ending.