Ayinde Russell

Artist. Educator. Consultant.

9/19/13. Human Trafficking Pt.2

they offered you gold

a mountain of it

it was all too good to be true

when the blindfold was gone

you were standing on a ledge with no fortune in sight

everywhere death was waiting for a wrong step


they got started on the totem pole immediately

broke into your body

and cleared away everything with roots

they left behind a shaming pole

they used it to keep you quiet


you were circled for hours by witch doctors

they were violent and insistent

brutal men determined to excavate your soul

leave you undead

a drone for the hive


the needle marks were never allowed to heal

more drug than bloodlife running through your veins

your body became an unwanted home

the feel of every violation like a parasite under your skin

you were made a host

forced to be complicit to your own holocaust

an internment camp held a finger to your lips


this is the business of circulating goods

they did not want you human

but a unit of labor

capable of suffering fifteen to thirty times a night

you were part of a competitive industry

the fastest growing

a labor force of more than 27 million worldwide

an elevating supply to match demand

a Cambodian saying put it this way

"the tiger depends on the forest and the forest depends on the tiger"

some gods are still calling for human sacrifice

these are the priests that serve them

they tied your body to a rock

and waited for the beasts to come


they wore suits


business ties


they wore wedding rings

they came together

they came alone


you learned how predators feed

some in silence

some with pillowtalk venom to numb the protest of your nerves

you were beaten by some clients because they wanted to know their victim was still alive.

That a door..

can be both entrance and exit

that you can hate and love the same object given time

is a terrifying thing


you held on to the notion of escape with clipped wings

dreamed of freedom with the slick of oilspill still clinging to your clothes

when you were rescued

your rescuer was called a hero.

Here is something better..

a hero is a victim in recovery


you are looking for the songs that will clear the deathsores out of your skin

because the hell they left behind cant stay in your body anymore

and if I know anything of heaven

it's that tarred feathers can wash clean

you are still suited for the sky

and in your surviving

you are stronger than us all

To contact Ayinde via email: Ayindetecca@gmail.com

Twitter: @ayindetecca

Facebook: facebook.com/ayinderussell