InVISIBLE by Andrea Heinz

Andrea Heinz wrote this poem very soon after exiting seven years in the commercial sex trade. It speaks to the many moments during the transaction where the truth is evident, yet ignored by the buyer under the illusion of choice and free will.

InVISIBLE

I ‘work’ at the brothel you go to.
Do you see me?

I line up with the other women. You look at me leeringly. I’m apprehensive.
Do you see me?

You tell the boss I am ‘the one’. The others are upset you chose me. I’m uneasy.
Do you see me?

We enter the room. You insist on a deal. I oblige. I feel cheapened.
Do you see me?

I start to undress for you. I’m dreadful. I’m ashamed.
Do you see me?

You touch me. My skin starts to crawl. I pull away for a moment.
Do you see me?

You ask if I enjoy what you are doing to me. I smile. I say yes. I lie.
Do you see me?

You finish. You tell me you had a great time. I say I did too. Another lie.
Do you see me?

You ask if I like my job. I say I love my job. I’m lying again.
Do you see me?

I walk you out. It’s awkward, uncomfortable. I feel objectified, dehumanized.
Do you see me?

You are gone. I meet the next man waiting. I wonder…
Did you see me?

Further reading

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