Two Fictions
Peter Ramos

Charming Poet Loves Good Company and Drink

Well here I am huffing through your fine, gated neighborhood, pulling on a large wooden cart my three-hundred pound gorilla (safe in his cage, folks), the flaps down to spare your precious mineral-water crowd, when the slightest unavoidable dip jolts Big Eyes awake. Now he rattles and skull-butts his bamboo bars, awake! -- for bananas or popcorn or a single gumdrop from one of your pale and chestless Debbies. My giant, gross grunting one, at whose amplified flatulence or genital-juggling everyone coughs, turns red and away. Way to go, Zippy! You've done it again! Wherever you roam I'm hardbound to follow and hold my head high. For I do look up and like all the great showmen am prone to their headaches and nosebleeds.

Can't Get There From Here

Sixteen, driving father's '76 Olds with my brother to the fair. The other two members of our band will meet us for the show. Tall, dusty corn in the sunset. Middle August. We're wearing black suits and ties, our hair gelled up tall. When we get to the entrance, a guy in a white undershirt and straw hat gives us his look pointing. "You go on in the other way."
"Over there, where the help's enterin'."
When we get there another guy in his shirt stops us.
"Oh no," he says. " Y'all get on back."
We turn around, back and forth and so on. The car has no air, it's hot as hell. Our eyeliner stings.