she says to her friend, Oh he’s a real clown!, spite
leaping from her lips, I listen closely, wonder if I know him.
There are so few of us in town; clowns that is. Turns out she’s
talking about some fire fighter. He thinks he’s sexy in the
big coat and boots, she continues. But that helmet, come
on! It looks like a penis head.
I can’t help it. I guffaw. She glances my way, says: Hey
you, with the big shoes, you got a light? I like a guy with a sense
I pass a Zippo her way, but it’s a prop— I forget.
A stream of water hits her blouse, douses her cigarette.
She says, Thanks, I need to quit anyway.
She says, You want to get me out of here? I hate this place. I
meet so many bozos.
Her friend remains silent when we leave together,
her soft laughter louder than the thousands in last night’s
audience laughing just outside the three rings.