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September 08, 2009


The man I worked for 
wore flat heels and
muffled his thought
through a toothpick-mustache
and spoke with his hands.
When he hired me
he ask if I was nice.
I told him no. 
He didn't ask for references.

He said I didn't need a uniform
but he liked me in black.
Black pumps
which bound my steps
and black tights.
He liked my hair up like a Madonna's
and my neckline low.

He paid me well
to be an electric outlet 
to smile at the customers
to lift coats and swollen feet.
In between the coatchecks
I bent hangers into sponges
and absorbed conversations.

From behind the rail I observed
the male's twitching promises
rolling off his tongue like a wet cigar
his conquest cranked forward
legs crossed placid smile swallowing

e thrusts near her
his firm hand fills her fragile glass.
She follows him to her exit,
my slow head on the lady.
This tradition was wearing me,
and I, like my old nylons
not yet running
but catching on to things...

One night I wore low heels
and a new slack outfit
I walked out into the lounge
and helped a lady with her coat.
The man I worked for scolded me
for not dressing nice.
I never said I was.
I quit my work that night.

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