Self-Portrait as a Rodeo Clown Jon Lemay
There used to be some eloquence in all this crisis
management. Here, in the eye of the American Colosseum,
my painted self has room to spare. Joe bet me twenty bucks
that someone would die this season. Then he and Cliff
got punctured—Joe in the heart, Cliff through the throat.
I never paid him. Even in the deepest sleep I hear a ring,
an opening gate, the wail of a frightened baby. I'm just trying
to settle into a life where sadness can't pursue me,
where the barrel begins to feel like home.