by Dan Chu
When I arrive, I find a deserted market:
a cobblestone square of facades,
shuttered stalls, windows and shops unable
to show me what they had to offer.
The shopkeepers are already inside eating
or tending to their daily injuries.
One is reading by the upstairs window,
a pack of ice on his head, and catches a glimpse
of me standing below. He goes to his telephone
and calls all the vendors in the square.
A customer down there waiting, but everyone
refuses to sell. Keep still, he says,
stay together. No more deals.
I see their silhouettes by the windows,
the names of their stores, what they sell.
I toss my money into the air that smells
of ash, onions, and mackerel. I ruffle
my hair until it is scruffy enough
to delight me. Now I am hollering
and the windows are closing.
I feel like I own the place.