for the Day
The six-day Roman feast of Floralia (see 28th April) was a high time for
the citys prostitutes and dancing girls – a festival of flowers,
and hence of sex. They would perform naked in the streets, and join in
with the gladiators in the arena.
poem was written about events in Iran, after the Islamic revolution.
of the Iranian Prostitutes
We warm earth with our
as we did you who kill us with our loving
you or your brothers in need
of ease from their seeds insistence.
We recognise them in you;
you share first names
and your second names fearful lust,
shame, tenderness unknown are also the same.
Fathers of our fathers made
the law to kill us
and the money to keep us alive.
I dont see you look in our eyes
at the moment of penetration.
With us strange women you
In our arms, between these folding legs
you gladly forgot to be earning paradise.
Youd bought it for a moment second-hand and half-price.
Bullet smashes a breast you
tears the nipple you triggered.
Our sisters unwon heart is burst in mid-beat
but her cry doesnt show how God is pleased.
The beauties hed given
when you had confinement and labour to offer,
we used to be an arms length free of you.
At arms length you rid earth of us.
Earth is awash with our life
as with righteousness in a just day.
Oh men, then where will you go from the earth
or into what heaven can you be received?
Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar