We are born into a wasteland of male desires.
Shadowland, we are pushed onto dirty streets.
Sold, everything between sixty cents and ten euros goes.
We are children taking care of our families, of our own children.
They die as they are born, nobody wants to touch them, demons they are calling them.
They bury them under bamboo sticks with unholy earth and dirt,
The foxes must not steal them away from their resting place, the cemetery of whores.
Nobody releases us, we die one by one, in their eyes we’re waste, aged thirty-five.
For four euros they enter our bodies completely naked.
I stand at the corner of the street and I can barely see the sky.
My prayers don’t make it over the rooftops, they are throttled by everything
That comes my way, shoving money into the woman’s hand, claiming ownership over me.
We are barely ten or twelve, we are desired, yet must not look like children.
They sell us off, give us pills, to make us rounder, to make us look like proper women,
As they feast on our flesh. These pills will kill us, set our innards afire, we barely make it
Over the age of eighteen. I’ve seen us all come and go, children rot away in the name of
Male-prescribed womanhood. That a woman shoves him through the curtain into your
Room couldn’t hurt more. There is nobody to trust, it’s all on me.
When I state my desire to vanish beneath the cemetery’s earth, to die, to
Disintegrate, to rest in peace truly, to not be terrorised by the insatiable male sex,
I mean it, it hurts so much to say it, but I truly mean it, I cannot rest.
I feel so old, I have not lived, my arms are barred behind my back.
All I can do is live in a disgrace that I never orchestrated, I am the scapegoat, the
Social outcast, the dirty woman, nobody says a word about the hordes of men that walk
These damned streets and enslave us, rob us and our bodies, infiltrate our souls.
I have mouths to feed, they shame me slowly, nothing I do is right.
We must live, we must survive, my dreams never cross the street’s surfaces.
I see their moaning faces over me, their wives’ photographs in their wallets.
And I’m the disgrace. They are laughing at us, they come in groups, they see us not,
The wolves. My face is invisible. My body is an object condemned to death.
They throw our dead bodies into rivers, we are creatures of exposure,
Not worthy enough, not meant to touch sacred grounds, we are pestilences.
I endure, a child, I endure, never a woman, I endure the male cosmos.
“The Widow’s Prayer” by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton (1830-1896)