She Used to Dream

sex trafficking

all she used to dream of was a future

honest wages for her family, a wide-eyed taste of opportunity

she boarded a plane on his words of assurance

that her life would improve once she criss-crossed the globe

but then promises turned counterfeit

and the neon lights of a new city faded to shadows of gray

he was in control now, an Armani suited pimp

she became his to command, as all her freedom disappeared

time no longer seemed to matter

as weeks stretched into months, and the earth reeled off its axis

a name erased from her grime-smeared face

the stamp of commodity on her bruised, starved, exploited body

her narrative is common, her affliction epidemic

another headline for consumption, another hashtag to retweet

yet these statistics fail to humanize

the person whose agency was taken, whose dignity was tarnished

injustice like that can asphyxiate the soul

but she is more than her ravaged hopes and crumbling spirit

her life is worth rescue, her freedom worth ransom

because the future she used to dream of is just what she deserves


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