I put the lawnmower behind the porta-potty and covered it with a tarp. It was raining. Always raining, always raining in my life. That’s why the teardrop. Pagliacci, payaso, white of face, black of heart. I eat the hearts of children and give them animal balloons in exchange. I put the lawnmower behind the porta-potty and get out my shears. Trimming the hedge, even the tragic fool must have a second job these days. Mine is landscaping. Tito Topiari is my professional name, carver of hedges into giraffes and dachshunds, I have kept my second job as close to my life work as could be. With a blue balloon and a white one, I can make a dolphin that twists and spins in mid-air. With climbing roses in lavender and white I can make a butterfly. With black and white I can make a penguin or a man in a tuxedo with a carnation in his lapel. Early balloons were made of animal bladders. A white-face fool like me is serious and might be deadly. Children are often afraid even as the animals necks are being twisted and the carnation shoots water into the air. There’s a hankie in my pocket; get it out for me, won’t you? I need to go tidy up that hedgerow, where the children have gone to hide.


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August 2012
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