“They’ve dressed her in red
because red is a flashy color, it catches the eye.
They’ve put a necklace at her throat, the necklace that
around the neck of a helpless animal is made of rope
and for feasts and festivals is of paper.
Her ears have been pierced, along with her nose.
Those ears and that nose are wearing metal things;
because she’s got so little lustre of her own
the lustre of metal or gems
brightens her up.
They’ve put bangles on her wrists
their shapes much like handcuffs, like shackles.
There are jingly bracelets on her ankles
so that her whereabouts are known to all.
There is paint applied to her face
like color upon some lifeless thing.
As if her eyes, her cheeks, her lips were not exact
as if without some added coating she weren’t enough,
she weren’t complete.
A person is turned into merchandise like this,
she’s merchandise in the villages, merchandise in town,
she’s on the sidewalks, the streets,
she’s in the slums, the aristocratic locales,
she’s in the country, and all over the place abroad.
In various ways, at various rates she’s merchandise.
She is sold,
In some places these sales have been quite modernized.
Some applaud this modernization in the name of women’s progress.
Most stupid women willingly tangle themselves in chains
to fulfill some desire.
Those who break their chains think that they have emerged;
in fact they too get entangled some way or other
in another chain.”