Knife’s Edge Ballet
You poor dumb bastards.
That one you’re talking about,
there, at the end of the stage,
she was beautiful once,
before the kids, before the welfare
hotels. We’d watch the house lights go down,
then come up like the rush
of blood you’re feeling now,
and the ring of the spotlight
would slip over her and she’d dance to us,
and I guess she was arrogant
or naïve enough to think things might
turn out. She showed her breasts
to half the wasted punks of Birmingham.
The strobes all over her body like hands.
But who finally gives a shit. The body runs down.
The paradise of lights becomes
a walled park you’d die
to get out of.
Now before coming out to dance,
the memory of the customers she’s known flicks
open like a switchblade,
and she meths herself past
forgetting. And that’s all you need
to know, you poor dumb bastards,
next time you snicker
as you walk your dollars
to the stage and stroke
her ass as she takes them
between her drooping breasts, and she whispers back:
you’re gonna get fucked, sure,
but I swear you’ll never get laid.
“Let’s play carnival,”
she said. “I’ll sit on your face.
You can guess my weight.”
“the bitch got tight pants,
tight top, custom built tits
& a bucket seat.
so I sez, ‘oh mama, want to
come for a ride in daddy’s car?’
she just nods, gets in.”
“how you get so lucky,
an ugly nigger like you,”
“at my place we toke
some ganja, drink a brew,
all the while she just smiles
& stays pretty. so I sez
‘bitch, you pass the test’
but when I reach down to her nest
I grab this thing. ‘man,’ I sez,
‘you got a pecker.’”
johnny stretches out his arms.
“motherfucker had a pecker
this long. & then I look over
at the motherfucker’s purse & I see
a knife as long as his
pecker. ‘don’t make no difference
to me,’ sez the bitch,
‘and it better make no difference
“so what you do?”
“what you think I done,”