Suddenly the hours
have turned to dust and water between my arms.
Isn't there some coin more just
than the one we get in wages?
Must one always grovel for a few moments
knowing the answer beforehand?

How is it that I'm not the owner of my voice?
Aren't the fingers of my hand mine?

If the words I pronounce are someone else's
whose are these lips
that speak up on my behalf,
that proclaim their helplessness?

If I am not owner of my own bones,
at least don't rob me of their rest.
And let me speak the truth

with these loyal, rented lips --
poor compensation
of the wretchedly small cent
for the availability required of us --
in a place most definitely mistaken.