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Mistaken Destination (Rachel Jackson- Lafayette, LA)

The first proposition comes on Albert Street.
Old guy, green truck,
Asks what my name is and if I want to get in.

The second comes shortly after.
The type of car, I don’t notice this time,
nor the type of person driving it.
I concentrate more on the ground,
and on my feet,
and on the precarious location to which they've led me.

By the third offer it is clear
that women normally walk this street for work.
This third man eyes me with assurance,
desire glazing his face,
weighting his eyelids,
pulling his mouth into a sickening grin.
I shudder and walk faster.

My choice of streets wasn't very wise,
but no sign warned me of where I was going.
At its beginning
this street was genuinely harmless,
but following it seems to have turned me into a prostitute.
My eyes leave the ground for a moment to survey their surroundings.
They guide my feet left
towards a gathering of cars and stoplights and a bus.
I run at it, waving foolishly,
fishing coins from my pockets as I climb on,
sighing heavily as I drop into a seat,
thinking, Thank god I am not a prostitute.
I never want to walk that street with a purpose.

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