NIGHTMARE

topless-sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

A town with nothing to do at night.

Dark road, dark woods, dark stores and houses.

A neon sign: *GOLDBERG’S TOPLESS BAR*

Inside it’s dim, empty,

an old man behind the bar—

.

Goldberg, I assume—and a fat old woman

who must be his wife, mopping

a far corner of the floor. She wears

a pilled gray sweater over breasts

that sag below her waist.

.

Looks of desperation in their eyes,

tired smiles from millennia of pain.

The place smells of Pine Sol and stale beer.

I order whisky and joke, “The sign says Topless Bar.”

“Bessie!” the old man yells. “Get to work!”

.

The old woman sets her mop in the corner

and shuffles to a tiny platform.

Her husband switches on a spotlight.

Huffing from exertion, Bessie starts

to pull her sweater up.

.

I run to the door, push it open and feel

the fresh air. “Wait!” Goldberg yells.

“She’ll do a lap dance! Look at that tookhus!”

I can’t tell which happens first, escaping

or waking up.

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