Tag Archives: prostitution


The last thing she does
before she gets ready to die
once more, of violation,
she applies the mascara.

in that last and solemn moment
the call-girl hesitates.

With eye-catching eyes
she stops to shudder.
Maybe, the dyed eyes
mourn her body’s sins.

Mascara. . .
it serves to tell her
that long buried
hazy dreams
of a virgin soul
have dark outlines.

Silently she cries.
Her tears are black.
Like her.

Long Ago
in an
family tree
of temple prostitutes,
her solace was sought.

It has happened for centuries. . .
Empty consolations soothe
violated bodies.

Sex clings to her devadasi skin,
assumed superficialities don’t wear off,
Deliverance doesn’t arrive.
Unknown Legacies of
Love made to Gods
haven’t been ceremoniously accounted
as karma.

But still she prays.
Her prayer words
desperately provoke Answers.
Fighting her case,
Providence lost his pride.
Her helplessness doesn’t
Seduce the Gods.
And they too
never learn
the Depth of her Dreams.

She believes—
Cosmetics were
once. . .
War paints.
She awaits their resurrection.

When she dons the mascara
The Heavens have heard her whisper,
Kali, you wear this too. . .

(First published in Indian Horizons)


How they prostitute a poem

It is uniquely easy
For some to sell
Ideals because
Business of absent
Goods is essentially
A sacrosanct but mostly
A flimsy transaction.

Some learn, early on,
To prostitute their verse.
So, in all the waking hours
They scavenge for a simple simile
That matches requirements, fulfills needs.

They barter reality
And every romance
To a blurred triplicate
Carbon-copy World of Hard
Cash and Price Tags and Brand Names.

In this brothel
Of stilled hope and
Stagnated stories, poems
Are born virgin and endowed
With voluptuous figures of firm,
Full breasts and wide hips where men
Prefer to plant their pastime dreams,
Or conceive their seed,
Or merely spite themselves,
Or dabble at domination.

But, the poem, with this
Bogus existence becomes
An adept, untiring prostitute.

On a starry night,
The poem opens
(dry and drab and dreary:
lacking love and life) like
The paid-for parting
Of the thighs.

(First published in Great Works, UK)