The Stripper

Felix Cheong Seng Fei

I have to get up
there, get on with the act
and not let my feelings show;

make a show of my body,
its bloom and laced sexuality,
and not let it characterise me.

This skin I wear as a job
has nothing you have not seen
before, but everything to hide ­

my name, my mask,
severed nerves still throbbing
as I open my self up.

If I pause and donšt think too hard,
I can disappear
between breaths of beat

and watch, at a distance
safe enough not to weep,
my body unzipped,

the grace of small movements
to a still point somewhere
in the quiet of my being.

Published in Broken by the Rain (2003)

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean
Literature Felix Cheong Seng Fei

Last Modified: 5 September 2003