Prostitute_ - Poem by Shambhu Arvind
In that dinghy room,
where the smell of beetle resides,
like an unforgiving betrayal,
and walls adorned by posters of yesteryear actresses.
lies a woman unknown, unadorned and fat.
Her demeanor exudes confidence,
while eyes give away the pain,
her jiggling body under the man,
whom she has known for minutes,
and his sweat marinating her soul.
The cries of the baby outside her room,
seem just usual,
the soul whirring to be soothed by the woman inside,
she listens and closes her eyes tightly,
as if the shut eyes could bar the wailing sound.
Work is done and payment given,
staggering out of the room, he leaves,
she lies gathering thoughts,
cleans with a cloth used often nowadays,
to be ready to meet her attention seeking child.
He grasps her arm,
but feels no warmth, alas! He knows not,
that the heat of her soul died long time back,
without the use of words,
he rejects the smell she now carries.
The sleep hits him bad at last,
no mother uses poison to make her son sleep,
but she knows the work should go on,
so while he sleeps,
she starts again.
The mouth opened and salivating,
the son goes into a dreamless sleep,
putting him gently on to the smelly cot, mustering her will,
she stumbles to the bathing space,
door creaking like a squealing caged animal.
The door fails to save the modesty,
that being the last thing to worry,
the soap surrounds the body with lather,
and then the soap seems dirty,
Tears mixed with water reaches again to gutter.
Faded jeans and unkempt hair,
paunch huge as a smouldering fire,
smoke of pure stench from the mouth,
with an air of supremacy,
he waits in the room.
Much darker than her blood,
she puts on the cheapest lipstick,
much costlier than her dignity,
face smeared with the ash of the rabbit bones,
checking herself in the broken mirror of her dreams.
He doesn't speak much,
and starts to take off the dignity - her clothes,
his grunts and voices,
emanating from the depths of primal craving,
his body limps off.
She lies under a stranger,
staring at the corner of poster which has come of,
the face of the actress turns into a ghostly viscera,
just like her soul,
turning from ethereal to smoking lead.
She is the queen of that room,
she is the whore of that room,
she is the curse of that room,
she is the dirt of that room,
she, the prostitute starts again.
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