She tosses the lipstick-stained stub to the ground
Grinds it into the dirt with the heel of her stiletto
And turns back.
To one more man
One more beer
One more night of leering, groping, prodding, snorting
In the suffocating blackness
Where her soul vanishes inside an empty shell
And the wounds of her past sink into pits of pretense.
When the artificial smile and the artificial hair and the artificial nails
Reveal artificial canvases of pretend horizons,
All she can ask is
Then the door slams shut.
The lights go out.
Coins heavy in her pocket, she draws her coat tighter
To keep out the cold
To keep in the pain
To cover the scars
From probing eyes that pierce her skin once again.
Guarding her fractured heart, she walks
Footsteps echoing on the wet pavement
Until the key in her hand fits
And she stumbles down the steps,
Past her snoring neighbour spread out on the sagging couch
To the room where her treasure lies.
Eyes firmly closed with feathery lashes; ebony locks curled around the face of an angel.
A tiny hand.
Holds, grasps, squeezes, breathes.
And she remembers.
The answer to the question,
This poem has gritty brilliance to it and it makes it wonderful