“Off Duty At Bare Exposures Gentlemen Club” by Eric Lee

Eric Lee


                                              Atlantic City, NJ

Three cops and a poet enter a strip club with a cooler full of beer:
This isn’t the beginning to a bad joke unless you consider four
grown men paying to see spray-tanned naked dancers funny,
and nobody laughs because this is what has become of our friendship—
long stretches of silence in between reminiscing over beers
and women’s skin—so each of us takes a seat at Sniffer’s Row,
a stack of dollar bills in hand like 14th century papal pardons
and man do I want to do some serious forgiving and the dancer’s penance
is sublime, but Tom asks Kandy for her real name after she shakes
his bald head between her breasts like a bizarre case of child abuse
and she says Jordan which also happens to be the true name of his
first born daughter and John shoots first That’s funny cause you
have an ass like the walls of Jericho
and I can’t resist and tell Tom
Better cancel the ballerina lessons and it’s not too long before
Tom smashes against the slack-jawed brick wall of Wild Turkey’s
Revenge and John takes Trinity to the private confession booth—
and tells us later that her sales pitch for multiple lap dance was this:
I’ve got the face, tits and ass of an angel—and who can argue logic
like that especially when Midnight’s boozy fingers wrap themselves
around your inner thigh—but let’s be honest, theology is best left
at the door of Bare Exposures—so then it is simply Nick and I easing
into a case of Yuengling and a half of Percocet and there reaches
a certain point in the parabola graph of a night where each man
is ready to admit he starts every day from the coordinates of (0,0)
and then Nick leans close and asks me, Ever hear of suicide by cop?

from Rattle #31, Summer 2009

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