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Clowns Shopping for Happiness


Image created by author with Canva


First I spotted her round rainbow-colors curly wig shouting in a sea of Sunday grocery shoppers Crooked tie Loose clown pants Her whole attire a funny lifting tune


But the only trick she was able to perform was she couldn’t conjure any happiness The cart she was pushing was empty she — full of loss her bare face was painted with pain the invisible ink failed to mask it


Oof Her sadness collided with mine fully head-on the hairline cracks inside of me burst into thousand needles of dying stars


Come We can huddle together in this corner and weep I have been trying to keep it all together since this morning This thin, thin thread holding everything inside of me is splitting-splitting-s p l i t t i n g strand-by-strand


Are you looking for the counter that sells happiness quick balms to numb your agony the miraculous glue to put everything back together a second chance one last embrace, one last look into the lost ones’ eyes?


Any fortune teller stations in the bakery? Telling me it will all work out in the end it be will fine, it will be fine, it will be fine — just eat some cakes


How many pounds of joy we need anyway to last us through all the heartbreaks and the hard times


Will it make it more acceptable to people less uncomfortable If we play the roles of the sad clowns?


Let me paint these drops of tear shapes under your eyes in a shade too dark for sorrow No paint in the world would be enough to cover the cosmics of our despair


Instead I let the whole of her walking brokenness glided past me My chemo-induced nerve-damaged hands were icy cold


My temporary salvation was lying at the bottom of my purse When I slip into my fingerless gloves I slip into my cancer story I slip into this cold but familiar sadness


Some people thought I should wear my cancer with pride Like it’s a badge of honor I don’t want this kind of honor — I wear mine with anger because if I don’t I would wear it with shame If I don’t burn it I would drown in it


I pushed my cart around for two hours stood in front of the fifty choices of coffee creamers and lost track of time even if I don’t drink coffee or creamer


Can I help you to find anything, Madam? The goodhearted workers asked Oh, but you don’t have it. You don’t have it. I am simply Lost Can you check me out? Check me out of this?


Check me out of (gesturing to my whole self) — this


Oh Madam you are funny You are really funny


Yes I am funny Haha Life is funny isn’t it Did you see the clown just now No? Never mind


Yes I found everything I needed


(This poem was originally published on Medium, where I write often.)

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