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
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.
“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.
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.
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.”