Karl Koweski

the broken stripper

the dim lights couldn’t conceal
the fact the next stripper
mounting the buffet-sized stage
wore bicycle shorts
rather than a g-string
and a torso-obscuring blouse
instead of pasties

she possessed the
anatomical features of a watermelon
with spat seed eyes
and a smile like
a chewed green rind

she wobbled on the stage
occasionally
brushing against the pole
the duration of the song
swaying without rhythm
without removing any clothing
ignoring the eviscerating laughter

“hey manager!” my buddy hollered
“come quick!
our stripper’s broken!”

her dark glistening eyes
registered zero awareness
her flaccid expression
scarcely changed
when I approached the stage
on a wave of
escalating laughter

I handed her two dollars
and turned away
getting halfway back to
the howling red Os of
my friends’ guffawing faces
the stripper yelled
for my attention

thinking she’d decided
to give me a peek
at her busted titties
beneath her
puritanical blouse
I rushed back to the stage
where the non-stripping stripper
handed back a dollar
whispering

“you accidentally gave me two dollars”

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