At fifteen, my chest was a minaret calling men to worship;
fire burnt from the pit of my stomach, hot coals
and I forgot her words—
Educated girls fetch bigger dowry,
Uneducated is an oppressed wife
But stay in school long enough; the market is cruel to you.
We men never stop for women
we are always on the move going somewhere else:
on to our next conquest,
a tighter squeeze,
a new adventure—
Our heads staring at the noon sun
like the breasts of a virgin at fifteen.