The House Where 41 Girls Burned

Virgen de Asuncion Hogar Seguro: Virgin ascending to the sky, 
away from the home that should have been safe for girls. 

Virgin wrapped in blue flame, in smoke, in the old
yellow of piss stains on dirty mattresses where girls 

crowded in the dark, begging to be let out. There is a joke
about waifs who run around the pier at night: small girls 

pulling on the sleeves of drunk servicemen on shore leave-- 
you want a virgin, yes? I take you to my mother. These girls 

and what they've seen and known of life. What did I
know at nine, ten, or even at sixteen? These girls,

without a chance at a different life outside the door that
shut them in. The match that lit the fire that burned these girls.  

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