She stands in the middle of the intersection
with no hint of shade for cover.
Her sweaty brow,
her carbon filled lungs ignored
as she makes cars go to and fro.
No time to whine,
no time to wonder
if all is worth the exhaustion
as she inhales the exhaust of the city,
exhales the unheard sighs,
even manages to smile.
He wades in morass
in a little cube of stench.
To worry about bacteria
that an ocean of hand gel cannot squelch
is a rich man’s concern.
To be alive to smell the shit is bliss.
He thinks he’s lucky
for to be working today,
to be called to swim in other people’s crap
is a blessing, an assurance
that today there’ll be food on the table
there’ll be a scrap of cash.
Her father says she’s doing it for the family.
Her mother says she’ll do it anyway for free.
Might as well be paid to open her legs
to men too ugly inside
that they have to pay for it.
Her innocence is worth nothing.
Her honor cannot be eaten.
What use is worrying about a lost childhood?
What point is there in saving her purity
when staying alive is not a guaranteed option?
She just closes her eyes and takes it
as she tells her soul to die silently.