Twisting, curving

arcs

through the air

acrobats

like so many

wingless dragonflies,

spinning, grinning,

terrifying

with a

phobic beauty.

A clown,

mouth bleeding,

teeth sharp and yellow

offering candy in his

clawed hands;

monkeys fighting

on his shoulders,

wicked intellect

gleaming

from brown

wrinkled faces.

Birds like a storm of

tropical thunder,

flitting and screeching

over my head,

pulling my hair,

diving through the crowd

to pluck eyes

and scratch laughing faces.

There are

lionsandtigersandbears

(Oh—)

a scream cut-

off

among many.

Then, when the

colors are gone

and the

clowns tumble back

into velvet curtains,

the

horror is over.

The only reminder

of the

fun

are little

children lying

on the worn road,

dust in their hair,

eyes bleeding and

smiles


rotten.