Strippers, I admit I am scared of you
Is it insulting that I don’t let you dance on me? A man in flannel tried to buy me a drink cause I got breasts, he thought I was a dancer, for all he knows everyone is a dancer. The foam builds up in my glass.
You went across the stage, you strong-armed me. I don’t know what I’m doing here but let’s arrive at that together.
You know what a shaking ass is? I get nervous so I build history; like, I built the wood walls myself. I polished the floors. Who will trip in their stilettos, who could build me legs like yours? You only laugh when I place a dollar bill near your feet.
Wiping off the pole before you inflame it, you winding up for me, looking for my eyes. It’s sad and it’s not sad at all.
It’s a hip hop video and it’s a casino and one of you come over, inquire about me. I ask you questions.
How often do you get paid, let me know what it means. Saggy eyes, your feet look danced out.
It’s all subliminal messages, she says. Stepping stone. Some girls get over it. Some girls have regulars.
We are tight knit, we go to each other, lonely.
Bethany Price graduated from UW Milwaukee with a Creative Writing Degree. Her chapbook All I Wanna Do was published by pity milk press in 2013. Her poems also appear in Blazevox and Great Lakes Review. She works full time at Downtown Books and curates the Hidden Culture Tap reading series.