by Tianna Bratcher
To all the men who ask me for my real name and not my stripper name,
what is knowing my real name going to change for you?
whether it’s Tianna, Alex, Diamond, Peaches, or Rozay
this ass still gon’ shake the same!
A lap dance still gon’ cost 20 dollars
(and I’m not here to get to know you better)
so shut up and run me my money
Dear all you Drake ass niggas,
sitting at the tip rail whispering you don’t have to do this who come into the club to try and save me or fall in love I did not clock in to find a boyfriend or be the next Aaliyah, Alicia or Bria off the single on your new mixtape this is not a rap song
this is my job
and according to my rent, tuition, dreams, aspirations and refrigerator I do need to do this
just shut up, and RUN ME MY money!
To the man who told me my hair being in a bun looked like I didn’t put any effort into it, AKA my boss, AKA another white man who has told a Black woman how to wear her hair in the workplace. You have never laid edges before or managed to slick your baby hairs down just right with a toothbrush or just brushed a Black woman’s hair back before. All These Things Take Effort. But I shouldn’t expect you to know anything about that since you’ve been balding since you were 13. Today you are a lucky man. You are lucky I need this job. You are lucky I tucked my wrath between my teeth and spared you by clenching my jaw instead of my fists,
SHUT UP! and run. me. my. money.
To the @#!$ who think my job is so easy,
who tell me they could do a better job / if they were a woman,
never mind the bruises / the unwanted groping and sex offers /
or sitting with a man who prefers you quiet / naked /
as he spews his privilege and 5th beer all over you*
Do you know what it means to be a Queer Black woman with an understanding
of cis-heteropatriarchal capitalism AND be a stripper:
it means removing your tongue
trying to hide your identities in a g-string
it means some nights spent crying because no one wanted a dance
from the Black women, but all the white women went home with racks
it means entertaining your oppressors. Speaking of oppressors,
do you know how hard it is to dance for someone who voted for trump?
white men be my number one enemy
and number one customer all at once
I service men who believe serving them is not an actual job
like I’m not literally bending over backwards to put a smile on their ungrateful face
they make excuses as to why they can’t humanize me
they see me as some object to possess, not someone to pay
me my job
is so easy
SHUT. UP. AND. RUN. ME. MY. MONEY.
Tianna is a Queer, Black, woman, sister, and auntie originally from
Anchorage, Alaska and is now residing in Oakland, California. She has been
published in The Shade Journal, Placed 7th at WOWPS 2020. The 2016 winner
of Best Love poem at Collegiate Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, placed 5th
at the National Poetry Slam 2017, 2018-2019 fellow at The Watering Hole,
and a 2017 Queer Emerging Artist Resident at Destiny ARTS. She has a BA in
Interdisciplinary Studies and dreams of opening a creative arts youth
center. Her work centers reclamation of the body, Black girl/womanhood,
healing through generational trauma and shaking ass. Tianna is a twerk
influencer, Steven Universe lover and spends much of her free time admiring