the hawksbill and leatherback turtles have formed rival gangs
on the north and south sides of town
there’s something a bit lopsided about ‘northside-southside rivalry’
they find themselves constantly wishing there was a more natural east-west division in this city
but they’ve patched their jackets and sharpened their beaks just the same
The air smells of elephant shit and incense, hot oil, dust and sweat. The audience is dripping, fanning themselves feebly. All the oxygen in the tent is locked inside bodies which slump as they hold their breaths, waiting. The light has an oily electric sheen. The lions yawn. The children shiver. The spotlights flare. The drums begin.