paula ray

"I ordered these shoes months ago!" Sabrina blared as her burly sister, Sadie, stood with hands on hips. "I demand an exchange."

Larry cowered behind the register, filling out an exchange form, as the sisters stomped about the store. "We'll take these." The ladies signed the form, and then stormed out, two hippos in stilettos.

Larry smiled, pulling the prized blue patent pumps with gold trimmed spiked heels, just his size, from beneath the counter. "There, there my darlings. You have been recorded as lost. You can come home with Daddy now."

That evening, he stepped into his favorite blue halter dress, slipped on his new pumps, tugged on a platinum wig, and meticulously painted his face. He scurried off to Front Street, where hookers click-clacked down the sidewalk, making sure to jiggle for potential Johns, who drove by slowly.

Larry pranced and found his spot, making his prosthetic breasts jiggle too. Then, like Marilyn Monroe, he spread his legs slightly and stood above the grate, waving, waiting for the updraft.

He didn't expect steam to scald his balls and blister his penis. He limped home, bow-legged, with less grace than the hippos in stilettos.

Paula Ray
The Really Short Poems of A.R. Ammons
A.R. Ammons