From a coffee cup’s sweet bitterness into cold wind swept knowing that the place you search and yearn for is nowhere, no street names, no city gate. No degrees nor longitudinal measures to speak of. A compass can be useless when you are lost. Nowhere multiplies in your chest ravenous, like yeast. It hurts. The exact second, your shadow on the pavement. Sometimes your life is a minute ahead and a few days behind the place you want to be. Sometimes things align and you want to tear a piece of the shadow as you would a piece from a loaf of bread. But this place you search has no replicable terrain, no map. It moves as you move. A shapeshifter with a tropic of memory, a tropic of fear, a meridian to decide you can and an equator to know you choose.
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.