Crystal’s tough and street smart.
Show no fear and never cry.
That’s her mantra
and it serves her well.
She’s sixteen and has called this corner
home for two years.
She used to look over her shoulder,
always poised to run
in case they came looking for her.
Now men pay for the things
her father took for free.
While they grope her
and move inside her,
Crystal closes her eyes and thinks about
the picture of the ocean she’s torn from a magazine
and keeps in her purse.
Sometimes when she’s alone
and it’s quiet in her room,
Crystal kicks off her stilettos
and wipes off her makeup.
She looks in the mirror.
Behind her eyes,
the tired blue eyes that have seen way too much,
She catches a glimpse of Elizabeth.