Bad Gig

By Eric Ashford

The pole is slick
there’s a smell emanating from the toilets
body odor and a thick male musk in the smoky air.
I’m not here to gawp at the dancer
just bar tend.
The floor is sticky, the glasses dirty,
the canned music sleazy.

It’s not a classy joint.

Nobody tips, not many drink,
the head of the skinny manager
materializes from around a drape.
The head wants me to clean off the tables.

I get my coat
walk out into the clean snow,
wash-out the muck behind my eyes
with handwipes.

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