Built like a beefy cop,
but one night while he dreams
his home is invaded by a clown,
who undermines his self esteem.

When clown hears him snore,
he slithers through the door
with an ill-begotten comic mirror
from Coney Island’s House of Fun.

Getting dressed before his mirror,
a carnivalesque imposter leers back;
a squat, bandylegged, potbellied elf,
everything and nothing to do with him.

Something’s awry with this klutzy guy:
no more washboard stomach
or bulging biceps bursting at the seams.
He feels like quaffing a few jiggers of rye.

Because he has a gloomy puss,
clown leaves a note to cheer him up:
“Have no fear of the angel of dread,
a mere hiccup on the road of life.”

Because he’s touched days of heaven,
he might well live to ninety-seven.
He’ll strip down to his soul, place aside
the cyanide, and face eternity with a smile.