September 2, 2011


I knew her before she came here.
Her heart like a dug-up ditch, was before as firm as a trunk.
But adze-gashed in youth:
What was heart was ever after raw material.
(We see how the dark piles up:
The wrecked ruins of a once-white temple;
The ashes from a fire, long-ago-lapsed.)
This is where the prostitutes line up like pigeons
Sitting on a wire. Bird-thin and grim.
Drugged-numb as to stitch up guarded wounds.
Her eyes sag like drip-dirty rags, misused and polluted
With a dazed glaze draped thick over her pale-grown pupils:
She’s seen so much that now she refuses her own sight.
I think of her still: Whole nights (most nights) her legs up-tucked,
Fetus-like, wishing for reunion with wombly warmth.
She hides her eyes and chin from me in guilt.
Her hair whips in the wind
like a white handkerchief waving goodbye.

c. dylan bassett (Las Vegas, NV, 1987)