Why’s it Always Fatboys

Joe pulled a black case out
of the closet and opened it.
You wanta see something special?
Inside, a clarinet in pieces, like a shock
of ebony bones, a smooth skeleton
scattered.  He looked down at me
with a cocked eyebrow.  I used to know
how to blow this thing
, offering it
to me to handle.  I didn’t want to
touch it.  Don’t be so scared, almost
angry now, bringing the bottle up
to his mouth to soothe himself, magic
potion bringing calm.  Why do fatboys
always play the tuba
?  I shrugged.
You ever notice that? Why’s it always
fatboys
? He twists his brow up like
there’s a mystery here, that if penetrated,
could clear everything up.  He’s getting
pissed about fat kids and tubas.  I’m shifting
from foot to foot trying not to look
at the curve of his belly.  Maybe someone
forced him to play the tuba.  But was he
fat then?  I don’t know, I say.  That’s right,
he hisses, you don’t know!