I always got the bum role. Ugly, I learned the rote motions,
trembled at the deft hand over hand of my companions.
An autodidact, I cracked jokes like cashews, blared softly
like a trumpet muffled in silk. My verbal fatuity
stood out amongst the Sunday morning silent, lit up
the heart’s roster like a winning game show answer, stuttered
and knocked its way down the aisle. Beautiful
young ladies in slips of dresses board the bus; young men
grow another set of legs. The road is an untied shoelace,
a surreptitiously placed banana, a smear of oil carefully laid.
Let me get this straight: a knock, then another, and the
Jehovah’s witnesses sweat away their illnesses, starched collars
forcing zeal. I never mastered the punch, the nattered smack
to the back that would leave them breathless, but I bide my time,
practice my lines; begin each thought with
two clerics walking into a bar.