The Title of This Poem is Drake Ass Niggas Unless You Are Not Black, Then It’s Run Me My Money

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* 

*Shut-up-and-run-me-my-money

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 

so            instead

of                 telling 

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
trees.

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