Saturday, August 23, 2008

Seeded Grapes

I buy them at the market from an old woman who says

“nothing” funny…she sounds Haitian.

“How much for this nodding?” it sounds like;

then she cocks her head and spits her price.

They smell of her tobacco, strangely spicy.

I walk away from the stall, pressing one

on my tongue. I feel a stare – the cart boy.

I watch him gaze as he flicks his spliff,

singing a gospel song. I chew the grape.

These grapes are too spicy and seedy;

by this time I’m crouched on the road

outside the market, coughing up my greed.

The cart boy again…now he growls low

“Yuh shoulda did give me some –

(beggar, I think; then)

- so mi coulda save yuh some a yuh pain.”

He smiles, draws on his herb and walks away.

I wonder if he thinks I’m as ugly as I feel.


spliff - marijuana cigarette

yuh - you/your

shoulda - should have

mi - I

coulda - could have

herb - marijuana

1 comment:

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Great stuff, with your usual nuances and meanings-behind-meanings.

I also enjoyed reading about your Big Apple sojourn. You have a way with words....and moods (even your T-shirt was evocative, and provocative).

Missed your posts the past month.

What about Usain Bolt and the rest of his lightning-tribe?