The Fans

It’s the dignified way he quietly chews broken glass
that compels the stadiums to chant,
the horns to blast
and the game show host to unveil his bullet-proof dental work.

It’s been a long week: His eyes lids are long hoods,
his bruises are black
and the city lights are whitening.

The priest falls off his bar stool,
the CEO pulls the pistol from his drawer
and the dictator begins to fidget.

When they implore him to slash his wrists, of course, he does.
But as the blood shoots from his veins
and speckles their faces, shirts and dinner pants,
and as they guffaw and keel into their belly laughter,
he notices the subtle wincing in their eyes.

If the fans wished for him to dive,
he would chance footsteps
under the watch of the vultures
of the loneliest desert,
for a moment at the edge of the highest cliff.
And should he make to plunge
he knows none of them
would yield the shallowest breath in protest.


Joshua Jennings
Joshua Jennings is a writer whose poems and short stories have been published or accepted with Underground Voices, Dogmatika, Juked, Word Riot, The Battered Suitcase, Neon, Sex and Guts Magazine, The New England Review, Idiom 23 and Beyond the Rainbow..