I hang in the middle of a sheltered bazaar. Women catch their breath to admire me, while their men ask the price, allured and ready to commit. All notice; want the secrets I promise. My seller shakes his head at even the largest sums of gold. For me, only an emperor's fortune will suffice.
He is the son of the one whose final masterpiece I am. Never before and never since did candle after candle burn through the Kurdish nights, as those fingers grew raw and breath halting, until the son and daughters pleaded:
"Mother, please drink, you must rest."
Only then would Mother come away from me, but by morning those hands would tremble through me again, weaving life and power and beauty across my spine.
Then one day, the hands paused, caressed me one last time and finished. When she left the land of living a few days later, her son said her soul had passed through her hands into me.
A salesman, he told his story to every interested party, but none bought the merchant's tale. In fact, irritated by his arrogance, others spread rumours that he was a liar. Then the son could not sell anything at all.
He sold me to a brothel— the Christians who ran and frequented it had no care for reputation.
Mother's hands are a distant memory. Life passes above. I gather dust beneath the golden feet of women who give their hands and other parts to men—who're falling apart.