On the corner stands a circle of clowns, chain smoking and explicating from behind their face


paint smiles.  Off duty, their make up becomes lazy and runs from eye creases and smears into


hair lines.  The words of the clowns are carried away by traffic sounds, but one laughs sharp like


a barking horse, and one is smoking a clove, given away by a shifting breeze. The others are


serious.  Their lips, their real lips, are tight and pressed behind their oily grease smear


expressions.  I watch them, an absurd little island in a rushing river of business suits and flesh


tone faces.  None of the fleshies are looking at the clowns.  I wonder if I’m the only one who can


see them.  Traffic stops to let them cross, and I realize I have no idea what clowns talk about


amongst themselves.

Originally published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal: A Collection of Vignettes from Across the Globe