Once at Hierapolis, a booked-up ghost town
of a Roman necropolis with hot springs
where German little Caesars burn in sulfur,
a belly dancer neither young nor old
– castanets snapping like spun roulette wheels –
gyrated up to me all hips & lashes.
Forehead & upper lip sequined with sweat,
she whispered in the current lingua franca
the dirty word money & spoke her mind
in body language that said loud & clear,
My left cup runneth over with large bills,
in hopes that I, a tourist trapped, would get
the message I should pad her other breast
with wads of cash. I gave her all I had.