We Are Not For Sale


Yearning burns

and anxiety swallows me whole;

I look out the golden cage,

at the mud or at stars–

it is a decision I must make,

an act of the will.

Like the girl whose boyfriend lied

and sold her to a brothel in


Too ashamed to go home,

scared of his violence

and too hooked on smack,

she finds a picture of herself at

nine years old,

in every public toilet in the city,

her father’s handwriting

in purple ink on the back:

“We know what happened and we don’t care.

I miss you. Please come home.”

When we hear the sound of keys,

only prisoners rejoice.

© Alicia Khoo

NaPoWriMo Day 29

We are not for sale.