Alan Shapiro

Hostile Takeover
December 9, 2012 Shapiro Alan

Hostile Takeover


Cheeks puffed, she’s looking up at a horizontal

hedge fund hairier than last month’s rent,


that broker who flipped her twice from anal to frontal,

over-leveraging her tenement.


This one set terms firm as a stripper’s pole.

He’s all about her service. “You have to beg.”


His money’s on her human capital,

which got to work, but elocution lags


behind the patter. “Baby, I want you. Please,”

she coos. A friend arrives, another friend,


a gun. They lube her backside with axle grease

the smell of degraded toner. When they bend


her over the bed, she  spits up caps, she tastes

Detroit, down to its aging industrial base.

Alan Shapiro is the author of 13 books of poetry, two memoirs, a novel, a book of critical essays and two translations. His awards include the Kingsley Tufts Award, 2 NEAs, a Guggenheim and a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Award. His newest book of poems, Life Pig, was published in 2016 along with a book of essays, That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration, both from University of Chicago Press. He is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina.