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no shelter here

Thousands of girls and women are on the streets and under the passways, sheltering from the squalls. Even more are pressing about in the lanes, all these women. Sitting on reed mats on the road, so many phones.

They all talk in a chattering murmur, some are settled under a union banner where they meet to talk about their work. Some ring home and listen to their children and of all the people in this city they litter it the most.

The work is good, the employer is fair, his wife is charitable, the children are manageable. This is what she tells her husband, this is how her mother said it would be. The lies.

All will be forgiven.

Her mother goes to Mass every day: with her daughter in the wilderness she has only prayer.

All will be forgiven.

He comes home early on some days and dismisses everybody from the apartment, all of his family. She must stay and therefore dinner is cooled. And what was rape is now just exercise. His belt buckle digs into her thigh as he pummels his seed in deep. He smells of old lunches and brandy and is guttural in passion.

He leaves her to clean the soiled sheets and walks from the apartment without washing. His wife never looks into her face, but she is a good woman who allows a crucifix on the wall of her servant’s  room.

The girl sits at the back of the group sheltering under the overpass, she is leaning up against a low wall that borders a planting of iris and spider-lily, they are in flower, and she stares defiantly at the man who passes by and finds her eyes.

pic by triggerpic

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