Night Duty by Mario Ascueta Aguado

The fading sunlight from demanding afternoons
Crept thru her window like glittering sticker notes
Pegged on her old corkboard-like room wall partitions.
It is time for the sun to bid this world goodbye
Like solemn swears of virgins touched for the first time
By the very essence of life. The night has come.
She’s free again to wander amidst all curses
Brought by the stinking alleys of condemned districts
She thought existed in mere tearjerker movies.
Cold nights have tamed her to surrender to the wills
Of forgetful strangers – ageless, nameless, faceless.
She could not even remember the memories
Left from a punitive manhood that conquered hers.
Her heart numbed all details of human etiquettes
Yet her refined manners exemplified respect
For every soul that she met at rundown pavements.
‘After you, my dear,’ she’d say with her sweetest smile
As she leads her new man in to her apartment,
‘After you, handsome,’ she would say the second time
As she opens the door of her dyed compartment.
It’s her favorite line. She freely tells anyone.
Not that she learned it from the movies or somewhere
She believes it is her way of showing respect
Not for the momentary pleasure she would have
But for what she earns to survive her cruel life.


One thought on “Night Duty by Mario Ascueta Aguado

  1. ericamilesx

    Sensitive and compassionate portrait of one of the members of “the oldest profession in the world.” Loved the softly rhythmic lines with their tidbits of revealing dialogue, the emphasis on “respect,” and the humane conclusion.



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