By Joseph Hesch
Sally was a girl of exotic beauty
in this gray and barren place.
Her skin as smooth and brown
as a caramel apple, she owned a face
men dreamed to make art about.
She had but three things keeping her
from perfection —
The first was the plain fact that
she was a whore, a prostitute in a world
where she was one of many
who could be declared such,
but she, unfortunately,
was one by definition.
Second, she had that scar at the corner
of her left eye that ran down
and around her cheek, curving back
toward where it began.
The track of a tear she decided
to uncry, perhaps.
It was given to her by the man
who introduced her to this Life
and to that third strike against
She used his Mexican and Afghan powders
to quench the other burning pain he gave her,
twining her need for his love
with his need for her to prove it
to him by loving others.
And when it wouldn’t deaden the burning
anymore, she used it to snuff the flame,
her flawless soul finally and
serenely leaving the streets
Perfect angel. Ugly world.
Once again, my fiction writing and poetry share a symbiotic relationship. My poem “Tagged” led to a short story of the same name, published by “Foliate Oak Magazine” last year. In the case of “Perfect Angel,” Sally began “life” as a character in my first big short story, “But Don’t Touch.” But the dear was edited out. Sally stayed on the shelf up in my writer’s attic for a couple of years, eventually appearing as one of the two major characters in my story “Sunrise, Sunset.” I couldn’t get her out of my head even after I got her on that page of prose, so here she is in poetic form with a little more emotion and story. I have linked this poem to dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link Night, which provides poets and readers an opportunity to get together and share their passions.