Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Strip

She danced in front of the window, 
snowflakes glowing behind her 
under the streetlight. The blue silk blouse
slipped off her arms and floated out of sight. 
Black slacks into a shadow, then 
the quick shiver, the beautiful awkward gesture 
into nakedness. Her skin startled me--
luminous or pale, depending. We didn't know

each other well, but it was my turn,
so I raised my arms above my head 
and tried to shake. We both wanted to know 
something about somebody. My clothes 
piled beneath me in a clump.

The striptease didn't do much 
for either of us, but by then
we were chilled and fell against 
each other's skin.

Snow under streetlights landed
layer upon layer.
            We fell forward, 
then fell apart against the sheets, 
cold again, and wet. She whispered 
in my ear, and I pulled the blankets 
up over us. I knew her name, 
so I whispered that.

Credit


From Night with Drive-by Shooting Stars by Jim Daniels. Copyright © 2002 by Jim Daniels. Reprinted with the permission of New Issues Press. All rights reserved.

Author


Jim Daniels

Jim Daniels is the author of numerous collections of poetry, most recently The Middle Ages (Red Mountain Press, 2018) and Street Calligraphy (Steel Toe Books, 2017).

Date Published: 2002-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/strip