a star fades

there was
a winsome look in her gaze
as the last spotlight
as she relived
the years on stage
from those awkward
first nights
to the heyday
of coke and easy marks
a sense of pride
briefly washed across her
before the steady decline
reminded her
how she got
to this final curtain call
filled with
half hearted applause
from the few stragglers
in the crowd

she walked as if
her spine were made of iron
pitted and rusted
through it may have become
down the steps
one high heel
after the other
a swish to her hips
in final goodbye
sliding a robe on
as the last feeble cheers
died down
as the next
soon to be star
took the stage
as she faced down
a twilight of her life
with nothing
but the ability
to snort coke
down drinks
and take her clothes off
for money
to bad hair metal
for married men
as the overpriced pitchers
were guzzled

she started dancing
to earn cash
to make it through
the college
she never quite managed
to attend
then to raise
three kids
she never quite intended
to have
excuses led to reasons
led to what the fuck
comes next
they don’t have
retirement homes
for former strippers
with faded tattoos
just an eventual
it isn’t you it’s the crowds
from the manager
that doesn’t really
give a shit
because the next star
is bouncing on his lap

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