fear of clowns in Cincinatti

sidewalk steams heat
up ’round ankles exposed by
rolled-up jeans and
on this side
Ohio lets her guard
slowly down….

just enough to miss
a creeping chill
approaching-
painted
five-day beard, cigarette
smoke curls
like a menace grin

a gnarled hand lurches sudden —

and Kentucky turns away
disgusted
there is no one
left to help.

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