“Impresarios capitalized on women’s growing participation
in public life as a form of salable novelty.”
—DR. JANET DAVIS
How you labored—Zazel, the human
projectile. Your body flung, a shot
from a cannon. Human cannonball,
human. How the money flowed. How
the freedom rang. It is one thing
to reform. It is another to re-form, to
occupy that sacred ground in a flesh
not your own, skin a one-sided coin,
all metal and cold. You began in an old
London church, practicing your balance
across the dusty pews. You said a prayer,
probably. You did not say a prayer.
You did not say. And the Great Farini
made use of your contortion and fling.
How tightly you wound the projectile
of yourself unwinding, unwinding, unwound.