"Offend one, and you offend them all."
Oh Cleo, did you know how far they'd go
when you poisoned your husband's wine?
The man was half your size, bought plush furs
and jewels while you waited for him to die.
Thought you were a rose among thorns,
hid your affair with The Strong Man
while you machinate your husband's fate.
Did you hear your lover's screams
when the Freaks crawled past rust-
covered cars in the rain? Dragged
buckled bodies through the mud until
he withered in pain from the knife
in his back while the rest slid after you.
Lower half tarred and feathered,
fingers soldered, moulded together,
mutilated face on display:
a special revenge of their own.
Oh Cleo, too bad you didn't know
a rose is just a rose is just a rose is just a rose.
last line "borrowed" from Gertrude Stein.