Kim Bridgford: "Tightrope Walker"




         For Philippe Petit


Your foot along the outline of all space,

You know the God that others never face,

The precipice of all morality,

The lion’s breath of your mortality.


You turn.  They are so small down there.  So round

Their gapes and moans:  as if they understood

Just now the math of what your spangled heart

Could do.  It’s physical, this circus art,


The this times that, the braided coil you walk

A little closer to the clouds.  Reverse

Icarus, you take the tremble of your curse

And feel it with your toe.  Ooh! Magnifique!


Meanwhile the dotted line of air you try

Holds:  see-through carpet, narrow with the sky.



Kim Bridgford is the director of the West Chester University Poetry Center and the West Chester University Poetry Conference.  As editor of Mezzo Cammin, she was the founder of The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project, which was launched at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and will eventually be the largest database of women poets in the world.  The author of five books of poetry, including Hitchcock's Coffin: Sonnets about Classic Films, she has recently traveled to Bhutan with her collaborative partner, visual artist Jo Yarrington, to complete a three-book series on journey and sacred space.  She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and on NPR.