Feeding john

Andrea Heinz, who was herself in prostitution, wrote this poem using the imagery of oysters because, she says, “oysters are considered an aphrodisiac, are akin to the vulva in appearance, and are consumed (typically by the wealthy).” She goes on to say, “The poem talks about women entering damaged (“have not known depuration”), a madam serving a woman to wealthy older men, and then the victimized woman “climbing the corporate ladder” to evolve into a madam herself and do the same to other women. All under the illusion of choice.”


Feeding John

Take him a bib, he shall need it; I have not known depuration

I float in an ocean, neither acidic nor alkaline, and though irregular,
I am suited for pearls – despite the disinterest to harvest

He shouts for his food; you prepare to shuck, saying “he must not be kept waiting!”

When forcibly opened I am but a clacker
I watch as you still take the money


Pry my shell open, reef it back; you promised me it would be gentle

Here he has feasted on seaweed for years 
I don’t know why you rush
Perhaps by cause of my shelf life

Ugly when he eats, a barbaric man, he insists on strictly silver

A pull so powerful, few can resist
Consumed as I slide down to darkness


See me reborn, a queen in a cape

Tightly I grip the knife

I hear him call; he calls for you

A girl, empowered through choice


Further reading

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