Wherever they did live, they paid their taxes
from pocket change, obyed our traffic laws,
and turned their radios down very low
so passers-by would never hear their songs.
Lacking identifiable positions
on anything important, they seemed . . . “Swiss.”
White face paint hinted at a racist past.
When tabloids called, they never would deny
connections with the Mafia or Roswell.
At the French Embassy, a mime was hung
by his suspenders as a mob denounced
Marcel Marceau; some vigilantes smeared
a mime with bacon fat and chicken feathers,
then left him flailing by a KFC;
kids trapped another inside a box
of glass for days—and told him to “pretend
to eat a sandwich.” For their own protection,
all mimes were taken into custody.
We watched as they were crowded into vans,
still gestruing with pouts and outstretched palms.