Deported – Alexandra Mayer

I heard bodies and sledge hammers slap the cold concrete

bodies climbed over each other

and bodies flooded out

to blue jeans and radio.

“Tear down this wall Gorbachev…

Freedom is the victor!”


And I wanted to run away too

to microwaves.
I was greedy.


Yesterday’s ghosts trashed our streets.

The old bakery crumbled under eulogies.

Bottles scattered the park, where my sister stole the lips of her first love
Life was decaying.


The woman offered me $500 a month

How could I have thought–

Her hands weren’t like ours.

They were soft and white.

Soon, mine would be too.


She told me I’d be a waitress.
He told me to bend over.

His eyes were cigarettes, put out on my thigh.

“This hurts!”


“What are you doing? I’m here to serve!”
“You’ll be serving alright.”

I wanted to die.


Months in peeling walls

staring down the balcony

while he clasps his meaty hands around my neck

and he shoves his gaunt fingers into my body

and he wants me to suck on his thumb.


My youngest client was 12

His father brought him.

My oldest was 82.


My body is the “unavoidable consequence of globalization.”
My body is the supply.

This is free trade. Unfettered capitalism.

I guess that makes me a business woman.

Not a victim– A business woman.


You can charge twice as much if you’re pregnant.

They like a nice glow

Hope makes a girl prettier, you know.


Months more in peeling walls

Thousands more hands

Sometimes sixty hands a day.

Staring down the balcony.


The man I was sold to ripped a hole in the mattress

shoved my stomach through

so their hands could be more comfortable.


It’s okay.

We’ll get out. We’ll get out.

I am not a victim.

We’ll get out.

I love you.


A man with cracked yellow hands started to pity me

It was his sixth visit when

he led me down the stairs and into the street.

It’d been two years since my feet touched the ground.


Three days later, falling into a hospital bed.

She’s more beautiful than the sun

dipping into the fields we toiled

than dirt stained sun dresses

than my sister’s laugh

than any young, and naive, and alive eyes I’d ever seen.
She’s beautiful and her hands are so small and so clean.


The man I was sold to hovers into the room

and over her.

I scream.


Two policemen rush in.

I recognize their hands

When they say to me:


“Get out you’re old

you’re minced meat.

We want a new body. Always a new body.

You can’t take her with you.
It’s the law.”


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