“This dance ain’t for everybody
Only the sexy people”
—“Push It,” Salt-N-Pepa, 1987
I should have known she’d cue the birthday stripper
to rip his shirt off right in front of me.
I should have known he’d stay to drag his zipper
down, down, down, and pulse his pelvis free.
I should have known I should have blushed. I should
have known his muscles should have made me melt.
I should have known she’d hoped to have a good
laugh at the dismay I should have felt.
Her “Julie, whatcha think?” meant of his peeling,
I should have recognized, and played along,
I might have lived it down if I’d gone reeling
in shock and shame when forced to face his thong.
But I became a legend by revealing
my cluelessness: “I think I hate this song.”