she dresses each night
humming a familiar song she hates in her head
something will happen so she won’t have to
walk down the narrow path she knows so well and hates so deep.
bright red candied lipstick shimmering,
inviting men in, making them believe their disgusting desires-
shaking her body like an earthquake
she is slowly drowning.
with each spin of her black 6-inch strappy heels,
each time someone grabs her hands.
she is sinking: a boat trying to move across marshlands,
so she twirls as fast as she can, dropping her body low,
rolling up with a sticker plastered on her face
as drooling men place money in her laced-up black bra
thinking the more they give the more they may get
she just keeps shimmying- not letting them see-
that all she wants is to get in get her money get her food get her rent paid and leave.
to go back to the place she calls home,
on that narrow path she knows so well and hates so deep
and crawl into bed
next to the one person she loves on the earth
kissing her little forehead and pushing her blonde curls away,
she places her hand on the girl’s back and rubs it purposefully,
humming the slumberer another lullaby for sweeter dreams.
maybe it is the child’s innocence
or that smile or laugh or the way she dances out of true love
swaying back and forth and spinning round
people think she would hate her innocent young dancer
for making her dance
in the smoky darkness,
but nothing could make her blame that sweet little angel
it burns her heart to know she has to do what she does for some food
but each night
she does it