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Figure 1. The Circus Arena Gerry LaFemina

Of course, one could feed Christians to the lions there, but wouldn’t that make the tamer’s task more difficult, once those big cats had a taste for meat? The Romans, realize, loved their circuses and loved their arenas too, what with the gladiators fighting to the death. These days its much milder, although sometimes a clown’s eye gets knocked by a juggled pin or something goes awry on the trapeze. These are rare events, however: see the wire-walker seeming to lose her balance, see how she teeters on one foot, panic like a birth mark on her cheek. She’s positioned so everyone can see her clearly in the flood lights, see her relief when she rights herself and steps forward. And you in your seat seventh row in the bleachers, you with your program and winter coat, you let out your breath in a long whistle that accidentally summons the popcorn barker.