Alexis Orgera

from The Book of Other

The end of
the republic was
like the last days

of the circus:
stadium seats

with spilled soda,
caramel corn

on the three rings.
The elephant

with a cut
on her leg
from the tiger’s

careless claw, tiger
so full of old meat
that she paced

all night. Clowns
figure eights

with smudged
face paint
& torn shirts

like the final
scene in a horror
film. Acrobats

limping. Strong
man nursing
a torn bicep.

Bearded lady
not bothering
to brush her wisps.



Alexis Orgera is the author of two poetry collections, How Like Foreign Objects and Dust Jacket, and a forthcoming memoir-in-fragments, Head Case: My Father, Alzheimer’s, and Other Brainstorms (Kore Press, 2021). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various literary journals including Bennington Review, Black Warrior Review, Carolina Quarterly, Chattahoochee Review, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Hotel Amerika, The Journal, jubilat, New South, Prairie Schooner, storySouth, Third Coast, Vinyl, and elsewhere. She is a freelance editor and co-founder of Penny Candy Books and Penelope Editions, an indie kids’ book press and imprint that encourage big conversations and promote diversity in publishing. In addition to wordplay, she studies and practices growing plants for food, medicine, and connection. More at