When the prosecuting attorney refers to himself
as a fat Ron Jaworski, the erstwhile
Philadelphia Eagles’ star quarterback,
I burst out laughing. Some
of my fellow jurors
stare at me. One raises
an eyebrow. The rest glare.
The judge slams his gavel
and speaks: “The jury will disregard
that statement. I played high school
football with Ron Jaworski,
and I can assure you
that this man looks nothing
like him whatsoever.” I cover
my mouth. A recess is called,
and I walk into the men’s Room,
where my suppressed laughter spills
in sunlight on the urinals.
© Belinda Subraman: FullMoon
Lunch Break with Skiddles
I open my thermos
and man named Frank, a co-worker
whose main job is clowning,
tells me to call him Skiddles,
like all of the kids, parents,
and his fellow clowns do
at birthday parties, assemblies, and conventions.
He pulls joy buzzers out of a brown paper bag.
A red nose rolls
across the grimy Formica table.
Skiddles grabs it with his meaty hand
before it falls to floor, covered
in oil stains shaped like Illinois and Wisconsin:
a strange, enlarged map of the Midwestern United States.
I used to play baseball
behind Rick Manning Drive,
where a sandlot used to be
up the block from Walmart, and old men driving
Buick LeSabres used to fear their windshields
being shattered to Kingdom Come
by balls smacked off Louisville Sluggers
and scratched metal Easton bats.
Blue-eyed girls in Daisy Dukes used to come watch
me, my brothers, cousins, and Ruthless Ray
Mankowski, who had serious heat
and the most dangerous chin music
Niagara Falls had seen
since Sal The Barber
Maglie back in the day.
I wish Ray didn’t drink
all that Genny Light and go for a drive
after the no-no he threw
in our senior year. He was months away
from being a Miami Hurricane, a few years more
from having a park
with his name on it.