inflation (20180131)

a yellow balloon occupies
each seat
a smile drawn in permanent
black ink across otherwise
smooth undisturbed skin

a prayer meeting of vipers
voices shrill from helium
each conversation
call and response of hisses

emptying heads sink
expelling opinions through holes
too small to let anything in

talk shrink wrinkle
deflate in the chair
like the double tragedy
of an unrolled unused condom

the good thing about
drawing on your smile–
you won’t lose any teeth
when you get punched in the mouth

you will always get punched
in the mouth