Strip

 

 “The sweetest cherry in an apple pie.”: Take one.

She stood with her back to the whiskey crowd. Wings, on her arched back; glistening feathers beneath the flickering purple haze of the black light. A doomsday angel snuffing a cigarette before the curtain is called.

Fingers reaching out to touch her soft skin as the lights dimmed. All the yellow eyes searching that shallow pool at her back, twitching fabric aside like they had the right. Peeling the layers. The skin deep beauty an eternal river of blood and sweat, veins for the needles and a line of cocaine from the stage to the back of the toilet in the men’s room.  

One more night. One last dance.

One time on your knees, for cash, too many.

Bending over…slowly…slowly…music throbbing. They all know her in a carnal way.

 Minds break for lesser things. Most people die because they’ve run out of love. Demons slide into the shadows when the sun goes down. If it never comes back up, they stay. There’s just no safe place when the shakes come. No place to hide in a black room where everyone sees in the dark but you.

Junkie oblivion, sweet metallic smell, they all burn their lips, they all jab their arms, they all search in vain. Her daughter stands on the side of the road, watching. The sun washes down on her rosy face. Through the trees, she glimpses the clouds, she clutches the doll too tight to her chest. It wets on her.

“Get in the car.”

 “Where are we going?”

  Straight to Hell.

 Only one way to answer. Silence and more silence. This won’t be on the news. No police scanner will pick it up, no computer will take notes in a quiet gray room, running sin stats in a whisper…angels turned their backs. Only the bums on the street took note, shattering their vodka bottles against the wall; If only to drown the noise. If only to put it out of their minds. If only to have taken a different path somewhere along the line; if only there was a choice.

Every night beneath the black light, a different song, crawling along the stage, begging for her eyes to be glassy, to be dead so not to see the faces with their angry stares, their needy fists clenched with the dollars that she rolled up carefully on her porcelain altar, forced to her knees in worship to the masters that enslaved her. (And there’s only two kinds of people in this world.)

They all called her stunning, praised her nightly to each other as though she was not even there. High, clear cheeks, a pouty mouth, that’s what they said. She avoided looking at herself in the mirror.  She was a princess in a castle on a cloud if she looked at the picture just so. If she tilted her head low enough to snort the coke she could make out that she was one of the lucky ones. She always told herself she could get out if she wanted to. She could always leave. Just once last dance. Just one more.

Another little girl lost, slipped through the cracks, turned vacant eyed vampire girl.  Can’t pay the check; soul’s already been sold, so she works off her debt in time. Endless time.

Just waiting to die. Waiting to be burned, by the sun.

They didn’t know who she used to be and they didn’t care.            

“It must be worth losing, if it is worth something.” : Thoughts about a girl.

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