I used to be a stripper. Maybe you didn’t know that. It was a looooong time ago. I kept my clothes on, though, while I was busy stripping copper-plated circuit boards in tubs of bubbling acid to help put myself through college.
I just received my Contributor Copy of 100 Lives from Pure Slush Books, edited & published by Matt Potter, which collects 100 stories (50 poems, 50 prose) from authors who have a life story (their own or someone else’s) worth sharing. It’s a wonderful volume, and I’m grateful for inclusion.
Here’s my meager contribution:
I Used To Be A Stripper
Three nights a week, midnight
to eight-ish (though I always
did my best to disappear briefly
on my 4:20 smoke break, and to
vanish altogether long before
the end of my shift arrived).
But at least I always got paid;
always earned the exact same
paltry pittance no matter how
much or little of myself I left
out there on the floor, no matter
if anyone was watching or not.
Stripping requires acid. I remember
I always showed up on time and
they always had my acid waiting.
I remember that when I was done
—hours and hours after my shift—
the acid just kept on working.
Poets And Storytellers United
Writers’ Pantry #48