MY COULROPHOBIA COMES AT NIGHT BY SHANNON FROST GREENSTEIN

It was probably Poltergeist

that planted the seed;

but then

it could have been the circus.

gnashing teeth blood-red lips hands grasping my throat sharp

talons like exclamation points evil wears a curly wig 

Above the bubbles

and the music

and the rainbows

and the oversized shoes

hangs a sinister veil

like a funeral pall,

shrouding the murderous intentions

spilling from that tiny car.

they plot all of them plot it’s all a plot they will take over

they will be legion they will cover the land they will eventually get us

all they are coming

Tucked into bed

a lifetime ago

immersed in the darkness

of school-aged fears

I waited

for their arrival.

I have been waiting

all of my life.

the greatest trick the clown ever pulled was convincing the

world he doesn’t thirst for blood

Now

all grown up

ruled by logic

seeped in wisdom

I know enough

to know

I am safe;

until the sun has set

and darkness reigns

and they begin to hunt.

Clowns come at night, you know.