The Stripper

by Wayne F. Burke


I worked security

and sat at a desk

in the lobby

of a hotel

in Kenmore Square

and had people

sign in & out.

A black girl who

worked in the Combat Zone

and who looked like Hayley Mills

the actress

came in early A.M.

and would lean over

the desk to sign in

and I would look down

her dress

and she thought it funny

but I did not

and one morning she

asked me to let her into

her room because she

had lost her key

and we rode up in an elevator

lit by her broad smile

and I opened her door

and said “there you go”

and she gave me an angry

look as she went inside

and I was troubled afterward

until I realized what the look

meant and what I had missed

but there was no going back

and I had to endure

her bitter redress

in the mornings,

but I never did

stop looking.

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