finding signs along the way of the oldest profession

I wrote this years ago as a response to sex trafficking and, it is even more relevant today. I would ask that in the midst of all the holiday cheer and celebration, you remember those that do not have the option of family and friends to fall back on.

“Seeking divine intervention”

couldn’t remember why
on her knees
again
idling motor
impatient fingers gripping
see nothing
hear everything
suppress panic
no place to run
hiding never worked
only the rats ever understood
dignity was a luxury

later
sleep elusive
window open to smothering heat
sudden zephyr
scrap enters
an A

she laughs
mocking sound
alien in the hostile night
so
she leaves
enough take for a ticket away
first bus
a single bag
bottle
memories fade with hiss of brakes

over the driver’s shoulder
sunrise
one hundred miles traveled
three more ahead
wind tower spins
steady shadows
blink
blink
blink
reflection off the blade enters
an N

she smirks
fellow jetsam oblivious
they snore
examines dirty sneakers
swaying aisle
restroom in rear
accepts a twenty
renders service
a girl needs to eat

maybe it’s noon
or two o’clock
hardy matters
wise now to the ways of transit
avoids procurers
cops
good samaritans
locks stall to count
only two-fifty
blank stare
normal graffiti of numbers
lies and slanders
over the dispenser
a lurid orange mark
a G

fleeing now
anger
fury
rage
never answered before

another quick blow
feels nothing
contempt

meal value
stomach rumbles in protest
inner-city crowd
she blends in
even with color
clothes worn
faces worse
children everywhere with mothers
hard-eyed men watch

count

change
carefully

sit

unfolds paper napkin for lap
tucks another under chin
manners
always manners
bloody juice
cheese and pickles
sauce reminds her

there
on the wrapper
printed on the shiny foil
an E

this time
finishes burger
evacuates
washes hands
lifeless eyes in pitted glass
she wonders
about the sink
would it stain
does it hurt
finds herself outside
lost as ever
walking
concrete covered with old gum
fresh vomit
brown bottles
and homeless

she smiles now
all the comforts
a grate
some cardboard
patched coat
no need for prayers

looks to the skies
sun sets behind towering city center
black finger touches slum
an L

head down
she sprints
ignoring the feathers
probably left by scattering pigeons
fear pounding
lungs bursting

trips
curses fluently
fingers ripped jeans
notices red dripping
levers up
she’s left something behind in the shape of
an S

only now does she break
racking sobs
huddled inward
her mind rebels
she cannot
will not
ever believe
an angel
would care about her

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