The Poet and His Prostitutes


whore

He was a lover of street prostitutes;
not the sable-wrapped uptown girls
who sold their tight-toned wares retail,
but rather those working-class girls
perfumed by the sweat of their labors;
standing beneath broken streetlights at 2 a.m.,
in cheap, colorful makeup and Wal-mart lingerie,
with asses bubbling back and flaccid breasts;
those colorful painted whores of the night.
In his youth, he had been scorched by the beautiful
and he would never again have the fevered yearning
of lying with flesh more pliant and comely.
Street-walkers fed his pathos and filled his inner void.
They would let him kiss them on the mouth,
and wouldn’t complain when he couldn’t get hard
because of too much beer and whiskey.
They’d always wait patiently, filing their nails
and filling the silence with meaning-less chatter.
If he couldn’t function, they didn’t condemn him,
but would play with themselves upon request
so at least the failing of the hour felt sexy.
Most of all, they didn’t lie.
They wouldn’t tell him what a great lover he was
or offer up false platitudes on his endowment;
They used their real names and would share their coke
for an extra five, and he would pour them shots.
Sometimes, he would write beautiful sonnets for them
and they would be genuinely moved to tears.
If the sex was lousy, they took it in stride and didn’t bitch.
They didn’t conspicuously spit into folded Kleenex
or stuff their mouths with wads of spearmint gum
after he had come, just to lose the taste of him.
Rather, they swallowed because they, too, didn’t care
if they got one more filthy, fucking disease.
They were like him; defeated and empty,
just grateful not to be judged and discarded
like yesterday’s rotten fruit.

5 thoughts on “The Poet and His Prostitutes

    1. I am grateful you took the time to read my poem and comment. The challenge was to make this character sympathetic despite his weakness and failings, and to show that compassion is most valued when it is most difficult to extend. We often see ourselves as irredeemable (imagining our sins to be the worst of the worst) .but this poem shows that we can still find comfort, and extend love, in the most unimaginable of people and places.

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  1. Pingback: Lousy in bed, right? | In The Bed Inside Me.

  2. Tori & Rob

    This really hit hard and true with a past long ago yet seems like yesterday. You always seem to head straight to the truth and reality, albeit tragic at times. Your writing is always true to the subject matter. LIFE and you are not afraid or scared. Or maybe I should say you always make it seem “comfortable.” Tori

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