I ran away to join the circus,
thinking I might fit in better there.
But when I arrived,
the ringmaster looked at me dubiously
when I told him I wanted to be part of the Freak Show.
Clearly, he wasn’t able to see my obvious freakdom.
When I tried to explain,
he nodded, as if he understood.
He wrapped his crimson-clad arm around my shoulder and said,
“Let me show you something.”
He guided me past the bearded lady,
who sat combing her legendary whiskers into a intricate braid.
Past the snake woman,
whose glorious scales twinkled amber and teal in the sun.
I thought he would stop by the two-headed man,
whose twin faces smiled kindly at me,
but he seemed to quicken his step instead.
Past all the other human curiosities we walked,
until we were standing outside of the colossal striped tent.
Only then did he wave his white-gloved hand
toward the crowd awaiting to see such oddities.
He pointed to one man in particular;
a man who, after a first glance, not a soul would remember.
He was plain, and insignificant.
“That man beats his wife.
His second wife, now. He killed the first one.
That child there,”
The ringmaster pointed to an adorable boy about ten,
whose hair stuck out in mischievous tufts.
“He tortures small animals,
before cutting their heads off and burying them in a hole.”
He nodded toward a middle-aged woman,
her ridiculously-enhanced breasts threatening to expose themselves.
“She,” He said, almost affectionately,
“has been married four times.
All of her husbands dead from old age.
She now preys upon younger men half her age.”
My eyes had begun to open;
“That girl there,” a young lady, very pretty,
“was raped by her cousin,
and her father’s friend.
She has told no one of her pain,
but will kill the next man who is unfortunate enough to try to touch her that way.”
He looked at me then,
his eyes searching mine, before he asked earnestly,
“How can you join the Freak Show when you’re already part of it, baby?”