The Clown Loved Cherry Lipstick
Daniel G. Snethen
Bobo's mother was a circus tramp.
His father was some guy named John.
Bobo started juggling at age seven.
At six he had an orange giraffe tattoo
and routinely rolled his own smokes.
Bobo's mother wore bright red lipstick
and kissed him every morning and night.
Bobo loved his mother and the flavor
of her bright red cherry lipstick very much.
One evening Bobo was waiting for the taste
of cherry lipstick and his mother's wet kiss.
Bobo's mother was a circus whore.
Another John, not Bobo's dad, strangled her
rather than pay her the two bits she earned.
Bobo didn't run away to join the circus
he was already in the circus and the friendly
clowns took the poor orphan in and treated
him well, teaching him clownsmanship.
Bobo the happy clown was a sad clown.
He painted his smile on with cherry lipstick.
He kissed his mother's tattered picture
every night and every morning,
leaving a cherry flavored smudge.
Bobo never married, never had kids
and never smiled inside. Bobo made
others smile and laugh and feel love
with his painted on crimson smile of
his mother's cherry flavored lipstick.
One morning Bobo
dressed and kissed
his mother's photograph.
There was no
cherry flavored smudge.
Bobo had used up
his mother's lipstick.
The rest of the
clowns found poor Bobo,
his lips cut off,
pasted to his mother's lips
and his head blown off by a