Masters of Fine Arts
Kyle Minor

I'm poorer than you, he said.
I've been poorer than you, she said.
One time we didn't have anything to eat, he said.
One time, she said, we got so hungry the pregnant among us went outside to eat the clay.
Both of them were speaking in a stage play.
After the play was over they bought three dollar hamburgers at the all night place.
A prostitute sipped a milkshake the next table over.
They made jokes about the prostitute.
They made these jokes more loudly so the prostitute could hear their jokes.
The prostitute quietly walked out of the restaurant but once she was outside she pounded on the window and flipped them the bird.
This was the best reason for laughing all night.
Oh, did they laugh. They laughed and laughed. After it got quiet, he said, Dead baby jokes. Pedophile jokes, she said. Genocide jokes, he said. Holocaust jokes, she said.
They told them and made up new ones.
An old man two tables back stopped by the table to say they were very rude.
Rude! they said. Rude! Oh, they howled.
On the way home no one accosted them, no one assaulted them, the three-quarters moon did not indict them. They walked the long way in the near dark along the river path, to their separate apartments. They enjoyed each other's company by holding hands. They made plans to do the same tomorrow night. They adjusted their berets. They pretended their berets were wigs. They made a few last jokes and agreed that few things are funnier than cancer.