shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Ron Riekki

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My Three Days Working as a Clown

I couldn't handle the fear. I thought it might be laughs,
but there is sheer terror in minimum wage. The children

would scream as if they were attempting to heat their throats
with noise. I'd take off my nose and hair and that seemed

to make them feel like a skeleton was taking off its bones
right in front of them, the horror of subtraction. If I spoke,

it was worse, my noise shaky and awkward, so that I just
remained silent and frightened myself, their assassination

stares, my time-clock waiting, their clutching at hips,
my desperation for rent, something hilarious in it all.