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Wednesday, November 18, 2015


by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Legendary stripper and Bay Area institution Carol Doda, who helped introduce topless entertainment more than 50 years ago, has died at 78. Doda died Monday in San Francisco of complications related to kidney failure, according to friend Ron Minolla. —LA Times, November 11, 2015

            --in memory of Carol Doda, 1937-2015

I think of you, Carol Dodá.
You sold Lycra cat-suit and bra
            to ladies like me
            for whom 34B
was simply inadequate. Ah.

You were out on your own at fourteen.
We speculate what might it mean
            when a girl must contrive
            so that she stays alive.
Was it solely so you’d make the scene?

You frowned as you looked at my breast.
I thought you looked somewhat depressed
            that my ribcage had sprouted
            that which you had scouted
so you’d get paid more to undress.

 Your T-shirted bosom looked chunky,
at least forty years since your spunky
            pursuit of enhancement
            for career advancement,
Lloyd’s London your insurance flunky.

Your voice recalled whiskey and gravel.
Cigarettes must have helped it unravel.
            If you smoked in your shop,
            who could ask you to stop?
I was in no position to cavil.

 The bra looked like lacy sorbet,
a lemony froth-lingerie.
            You should wear it on dates
            with your husband, who waits
conventionally out of the way.

Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist, German Lit. major, and two-time Pushcart nominee whose poems and photos have appeared in many journals. Kattywompus Press publishes her two chapbooks Burrowing Song (2013) and Eggs Satori (2014). She still has the bra.