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02 April 2014

Window in the House of Mirrors, Market Street, 1889


At the top
is a clear-eyed maiden
whose lips smile joy.
Below,
and to the left, framed
in long hair
is a horribly sensuous face,
one
eye closed in a leer
above
thick slobbering lips.

Next, is the stupid fat face
of a glutton. Then comes
the hard cold face
of a woman not much
older than the young girl above,
the fifth
face. In the narrow
ell of the house,
behind her is that embittered
old man with cruel eyes,
his hairy moustache
cushioning bulbous jaws.




A description from a file in Denver Public Library of stone carvings on an old Colorado brothel. Via Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West by Anne Seagraves (1994, Wesanne Publications). 'Cushioned' changed to 'cushioning'. Submitted by Angela Readman.

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