“This is the room to talk price.
Here is the lamp, and the rubber gloves.
We accommodate every budget.
This is the Kama Sutra Chair –
300 positions to please both heads.
Here is how to lie back
and save your back.
I’m in charge of the condom,
otherwise they’ll slip it off
or slit it with their thumbnail.
This is the 32 foot bed.
Guys come in here with wedding rings, 
propose - you can’t believe them.
They haven’t seen us
outside. They want to party
for free. Then they say
this isn’t business - I’m in love with you.
They don’t know who we are. 
You’d love the hot tub 
in the Hawaiian room – jets go in all directions.
We show the girlfriends
and wives how to please their men.
This is the princess room,
the handicapped-accessible shower.
We don’t charge extra 
for the nurses - they help us lift.
The Madame was a working girl
when her client fell in love, proposed. 
So she bought this place 
on Ebay – a real life fairy tale.
This morning a lot of girls are home 
for Christmas with their children, 
their husbands. We aren’t allowed 
to fall in love. But we get crushes.
Who doesn’t want for a night
to be someone else?”



'Private Tour' is part of a short series of poems, included in my chapbook Bite and Blood, written after an early Christmas morning visit to a brothel and a topless bar in Reno, Nevada. I went with a photographer friend, Nicole Dreon, to informally meet people working on Christmas morning."

Karen Terrey is a writing coach in Truckee, CA through her business Tangled Roots Writing. She graduated with her MFA from Goddard College in 2007. Her poetry chapbook Bite and Blood is available this fall from Finishing Line Press. She blogs at