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.

by Jim Daniels

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