A lost sideshow carney
With thick, matted strands of obsidian hair
China white skin
Fixed inlaid coal-colored eyes

Leathery layers of cooked skin
Join the sleeves and neckline
Of an over-stretched soiled t-shirt
Like a lizard awaiting the shedding of its coat

Blowing gasoline through
Yellow, jumbled teeth
Past red plum pulp lips
To join the flame between her fingers

Like a rabid beast
The kindle turns
With fiery claws
Taking hold of her soul

The hunger of the fire
Fanned by deviant
Underbelly boardwalk gusts
Bursting through splintered pier planks

The blaze becomes wild
Devouring her blackened
Glowing sulfur head
And hallow stomach

Lighting up more
Like an over-fueled
Gas lantern
At dusk

Fixing her smile
Like a porcelain-faced doll
She knows that the show must go on
To survive

Between flares
Her radiance fades
As gratified onlookers
Fill her flickering tin

Louis Efron is a globally recognized writer and poet who has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, POETiCA REViEW, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Literary Yard, New Reader Magazine and over 100 other national and global publications. He is also the author of five books.