Betel Nut Beauty

I saw movement inside the house. About an hour after sunrise.
That is when he awakes. When I wipe my hands and face.
Every morning I anticipate him. I act like a little girl.

He comes on the balcony. He has coffee and looks around.
He surveys the garden. This is where I work.
Two men mind the wooded areas. I tend the flowers.

I was a betel nut beauty. I lived in a glass box.
The culturati debated. They said I was exploited.
I gave men cancer and palpitations. They gave me money.

He bought cigarettes a few times. But he does not smoke.
He was doing me a favor. When he asked me here.
Not in a glass box. But a lovely garden.

I see him every morning. He makes my heart leap.
He asks me to trim the rose bush. I wish he would come closer.
I know nothing about flowers. He tells me a little bit.

It was a hot summer. He brings me a straw hat.
I thank him and put it on. It looks fine with my pants.
My t-shirt and long sleeved sweaters. My shoes.

I miss the cool evenings in Taipei. When I am inside the box.
There are coloured lights all around me. I like the pink and green.
They dance on my shoulders. They go well with my bras.

I walk out of the box. When somebody wants to buy.
That’s when I wiggle my ass. That brings up the next customer.
I miss wearing my tangas. I’m proud of my big ass.

He’s getting married soon. They want a garden wedding.
I go back to Taipei. I think my heart is broken.
I am a betel nut beauty. I live in a glass box.

Fatima Lasay, San Roque
January 12, 2014

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