“She Walks” by Matthew Sorrento

She’ll keep things swift, dialed up…as they want it….

Night by night 
she dreads the entrance. 
But once inside, 
things just go by 
as she moves through 
the dirty air, 
her bare skin firm 
against any grabs 
– discouraged, 
but not forbidden. 
Their bills are 
just as grimy 
but later pile up, 
except for
half to the house. 

Once on stage 
she peers just enough
to spot those hungry 
to hand it over. 


One night she had 
something different. 
A local rock club
booked an 80s band. 
“Big, big-time hair metal!”
her boss said;
she had no idea.
There she’d be dressed 
down, but still 
playing a role:
the kind of groupie that 
no longer existed.
Thankfully, no trip backstage
on order – just her 
flirty moves by the stage,
for the band, an eager cameraman.
The small, older crowd,
out of place, 
but ones she’d imagine 
as her regulars. 


Tonight, before opening, 
her boss hands her an address.
“I know you don’t like these,”
he says, 
“but paid in advance.”
He shows her several $100s.
“Take two now.”

She imagines the drive first:
a bouncer coming along 
to wait in the car, 
though probably gone 
after showing his face. 
She never likes taking 
the small piece 
required for these remotes, 
but considers what 
this kind 
has waiting for her. 
She’ll keep things swift, 
dialed up from dancing
at the club, 
as they want it, 
but an eye on the door, 
the departure never too soon.

Matthew Sorrento is Editor-in-chief of Retreats from Oblivion and Co-editor of Film International. He teaches film and media studies at Rutgers University in Camden. His latest book is David Fincher’s Zodiac: Cinema of Investigation and (Mis)Interpretation (co-edited with David Ryan; FDU Press, December 2021).

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