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Monday, May 07, 2012


by Brigitte Goetze

Pretty woman, call girl—glamorous
doll for corporate raiders and power brokers;

lady of the night, courtesan, cocotte—expensive
trophy of the distinguished gentleman;

demimondaine, scarlet woman—salacious
sharing with a knowing wink;

strumpet, trollop, trull—quaint,
yet filled with Victorian contempt;

prostitute, sex worker—accepted
disclaimer: they chose it;

wench, working girl—poor
servants of the rich;

mobster’s moll, hustler—petty
crime pays pimps insanely well;

camp follower, streetwalker—desperate
steps to stay alive;

drab, tart, slut—distasteful,
but that doesn’t stop a pick-up;

hooker, harlot, whore—offensive
self-congratulatory righteousness;

white slave—miserable
flesh: cut down to size, beaten, thrown to the dogs;

power shuns exposure: no synonyms.

Brigitte Goetze, biologist, goat farmer, writer, lives in the foothills of Oregon 's Coast Range. She has published a chapbook Rosehips. Her most recent poems can be found in Mused and Imitation Fruit and in the forthcoming Fault Lines and The River Journal.