For Maria Spelleri


In a dispassionate play Bertolt Brecht would have written

if only there had been more time, the goddess Athena,

the owl-eyed diva of wisdom, no great beauty, still

a material girl at heart, has taken up prostitution

because sex work, though unglamorous, yields ready

cash—she has done the math—and a girl does what

she has to do while fashion houses keep churning out sweatshop

leather bags that one must have to prevent the fall

of another civilization, and so, inspired by designer logos,

she has mapped out her strategy, donned her emotional

armor, taken up her snake-wrapped spear, and gone

calmly, deliberately, courageously into war to maintain

her fashionable image and save the economy from ruin.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

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