Houston, Texas is the sex trafficking capital of the United States.
The average age of female victims that are first captured is 12-14 years old
My little sister, Salah, takes Karate
In January she will have her 13th birthday
you’ve taken Karate for a year now.
I remember your baggy pristine Gi still crisp without use,
a white belt around your waist, empty scroll
Waiting to be filled, and so
I pray that you’ve learned well.
I myself trained in martial arts for 5 years,
Which is to say
I too was taught to make a soft hand metal.
Salah, do you know yet how to strike five fingered steel
Against flint throats and light a fire?
Can you shoot splinters from a well placed fist;
A plank of wood or some neck becomes ember eruption
I tell you this is the magic of Midas
This is learning survival in a place that begs you need it
The Houston Ship channel exports more daughters than oil
Their names not so much a name as it is a number or
An itch in some wolf man’s throat.
They, only songbird aftertaste.
Feathered entrails laid in splatter
Across his tombstone teeth
Last note rotting in his stomach acid river styx.
Salah, you must scream correctly.
I will teach you to make your windpipe a dog
whistle that shatters windows and ruptures eardrums.
If you are caged in car trunk I want you
to scream until your face and belt are purple,
shriek so loud it'll sonic boom I10 of the face of the planet.
Wail until the sky is torn wide,
The earth split open,
I will lead the angels of heaven and hell in search for you,
My little Sassy, baby, don't be nice, don't be sweet.
Clench your fist into the rocks of David.
Make a slingshot of right hook.
This city will not gift you a concrete chrysalis,
In fact t will try to chew your wings.
Houston’s underbelly is infested with Arachnid men
They will spin cocoon into silk sarcophagus,
so you be an animal, a beast, show them your teeth
All three rows.
You've got fangs like skyscrapers, solet them know
That the city bites back .
If some monsters tries to grab you, shed your second skin,
Claw them with venom,
Wrap electric tentacles around their throats
And roast trachea into steaming black crisp .
They will be salty-ocean foaming at the mouth.
Send them to the bottom of the gulf coast,
An oil spill to leave in the sea.
If a strange pill finds its way in your drink,
You spit it out like poison dart.
These pimps are vultures, but you are not a dead thing;
Take their eyes with your beak
Like the bloody collapse of Oedipus.
If you meet a man with the charm of Prometheus
Do not be fooled, he too will try to steal your fire.
Instead leave him battered and bruised at the top of the
Colorado strip club, his liver stuck between your talons .
Houston is the falling star of Texas,
Apollo’s sun chariot making a Beltway 8,
Amber alert orbit.
When night falls, stick close to your kin.
Carry the arrows of Artemis wherever you go .
You are not something to be hunted
Sweet Salah Grace Neal,
Make your upper cut stronger than
A car trunks,
your roundhouse able
To crack jawbones,
Your knife hand block
A full length sword.
you will be ready
That I will make sure of
Pull your black belt tight
Remember who you are
5 feet of claws and rapture
My baby sister.
If night sky ever tries to swallow you
Salah, you better make it see stars
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