Sam Kaspar | EAU DE STRIPPER, 2019 Vallum Award for Poetry Honourable Mention



darkness overcoming but don’t use that cliché
hand down on the left, signal a turn, park here, not over
there your headlights
turning on
or with a bit of help from the knob, the computer in the hood,
the concrete walled parking garage
put your hand here, don’t touch that curve
don’t bump grind other cars when you park
looking at the darkening roof-sky
overtakes your lane, slot into walking paths, lit and higher
climbing to ground level, inner burgeon
come in, you’ll get what you want, what we’ll give
wetness of perfumed sweat, a few other dudes in the mix
the upstairs sells it, give me a fix
come to the back room where fifty dollars makes my night
and I can go
the most intimate of my insides, the pink soft pliable fillable
your manners, will you enter?
learn my inside, it’s what you came for
so why not know my deepest urge to spit the plight of
my young self, first coercion,
my loss of …
my boss of …
the paycheck of crumpled up fives—on a good night
after being groomed, come learn my insides where the beer-soaked
swine-sweated moneys fill
my panty line, the commodity is right here, not the cash, so come in,
why do you still care about your feelings
I promise I’ll always say my boyfriend doesn’t give enough sex
then the client thinks he has a chance, will tip more and not follow me
to the employee parking
because he thinks I’m attached, but there’s enough of a chance
that when you confide in that back room where my invite,
your predilection to follow
makes my night, do the sin
as you go home to your fatigue or your partner or your buddies
or your hand
scrubbing but
can’t get the scent of my truth off your deepened thoughts
and shallowed skin


Author’s Bio

Sam Kaspar has been writing for many years, publishing in literary and scientific journals. Born in Ontario near Windsor, his university studies included time at Western, Dalhousie, Toronto, Guelph, McMaster, and Johns Hopkins. He currently lives and works in the US. He is an avid rower, hiker, poet, and more recently, a writer of short fiction and creative non-fiction.