happy [ ] we hired a live-in clown for the weekend. arguing, we couldn't decide if it was my birthday or yours so we both put on the folded paper crowns & both threw our watches down the well. told the clown to stand in the hallway & keep look out for spiders. he did. he was skilled & caught four by the first hour. you kept saying "we should celebrate" "we should celebrate" & i said, "look we are" with my crown on & my bare feet & my mouthful, eating sugar from the bag with my favorite soup spoon. i am terrible at these kinds of things, always finding it good enough to be alive & have something sweet to suck on. i didn't know enough to realize you wanted guests. wanted to invite the sidewalk's benign ghosts & one or two bears & maybe even a singer. i could have sung to you. i thought a clown should be enough for anyone. he sat with us while we ate but wouldn't swallow a morsel despite our encouraging. he said, "clowns don't eat. it's not very funny." instead he poured water over his face & cackled & slapped his hands. we asked if he was from around here & he just shrugged. you told him to leave early but he held his fingers up "2" & said, "you said two days." yes, yes we did. so, the clown laid taking up the whole sofa while me & you tried to be festive. blew up one blue balloon each & held them like swollen lollipops. when yours burst, a beetle flew out & we covered our faces. when the clown finally left we couldn't imagine the apartment without him. i begged & you wept & the clown crawled away on all fours towards whatever vehicle clowns travel with these days. our ages flickered like neon signs above our heads & you admitted you never wanted to get older, that you'd only done so to make me happy. i had done the same & so we fished our watches from the well & tried all night to make the other one laugh. no luck. spiders returned wearing clown shoes. we couldn't sleep at all.