Poetry / Uncategorized

The Shadow of a Shiver

Words by Aung Zin Phyo Thein

She waits

Her thin legs rooted

To pavement wet and cold

Gum, ash, cigarette butt

Betel juice a crimson red

A tinge of piss

About the air

A stray rummages

Through rubbish torn

Trash by her feet

Her delicate feet

In heels unfirm

Spotted slight muddy grime

In screams unheard

What led you now

To walk us here?


In empty stony silence

The cheetah dress soiled

Against coarse bony back

In heavy choking night

Cheap orange locks

Veiled scarred straw arms

Veiled more so

Pinch-worn lobes

Where cried and drooped

Two plastic diamond grains

Her head unbowed

Her ramrod spine

Defied the notion

Defied the night


One gaudy claw

A cheap bright pink

Felt one plastic diamond droplet

One of two gifts

‘It’ ever bestowed her

And remembered she

And bit down hard

Her sickly lip

It thanked at once

God and blessed all mortals

For sparing blood

For saving her

From starving through

Another night


He comes faceless

The night’s mask worn well

His hand juts out

Her thighs he grasps

Whispers now

Her lips the price

Agrees the faceless

By the pang of filthy fingers

Kneecaps thud, a belt unbuckles

She almost shivers

None can tell

None will know

And none will care


As she let the Night

Take that battered broken body

Her unbroken will

Looks towards

A fraying yellow cot

It’s other gift

Writhing slight and gentle

As buzzing droning devils

Feast on his unspoilt blood

Promises she:

Just one day more

Just one night more

A refuge she sought

In feeble lies

Two years now

Like a nightly prayer

Now fills the air

A hungry scream

Now drowns the screams

A fictional moan

A mother powerless, a mother none

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