The Price of Nice Nails

what we all knew
in today’s New York Times
women in nail parlors
17,000 nail parlors
there are 11 on ten blocks
near my apartment
they are exploited
no regulation
i often go to nail parlors
have tried over the years
to teach writing classes
in them sometimes
i see the women
somewhere else and we
talk about what
they want to talk about
usually their children
a boyfriend or two
sometimes they want
to talk about god
when we know about unfairness
when we know that people
are being treated
unfairly when we know
that what matters
is how we treat one another
when we know that we live
in a world where we
have to fight for one
another and sometimes
we have to be told to fight
over and over again

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