I go early to hear the citrus tales of pomelos and satsumas in
January, discuss the snap with favas in May, have a word with
a merchant without saying anything, hold a coin bag in one hand
and with the other chat with an unsuspecting tomato. Market
speak is the language of being a girl walking with my mother
down narrow lanes in the mercado, sweat streaming brow, dogs
impatient weaving between legs, stealthy robbers articulating
sneak, sellers shouting incantations to buy this cure-all remedy
and for a bargain, una mano, all the fruit that can fit in the palm
of your hand. At every turn my local farmers market betrays
the one I long for. The mercado I search lives dormant, rhyming
festive and mom, inside my heart.
Originally published in Arcade. Copyright © Claudia Castro Luna. Used with the permission of the poet.