Those who wished to see but not be seen
would sit and see the world through carved screens,
taking in the thriving market scenes,
watching hunched women sweep the streets clean,
vendors ladling curry from tureens,
pickpockets who thought themselves unseen,
and drunks who use walls as a latrine.
What’s worse about life behind the veil,
the sight of lives lived beyond the pale,
or knowing you live outside the tale?