Beneath the open air tents, vegetables tempt like
penny candy or beckoning bins of polished
stones, five dollars a bag. They glow in shades of want
- small hand want, desire confused with need.
Want to hold those circus hues crying, Sweet! Want to
heft the weight, to possess. Want to envelop in
sweaty palm, the disco ball gobstoppers, gummy
bears bejeweled, the agates and the humming ribs of
tiger-eyes, burnished sight of malachite. Even then,
it was never about nourishment or need, but
a rodent crusade to have those lovely things.
Even then. Even now.
The market throngs are festive and intent. Wiry,
naked faced women scurry past, canvas bags and
picnic baskets harvest heavy. The weight of their
wealth measured in ostrich orb eggplants, taffy striped
cream with violet and lace dancing frocks of carrot
tops. But then, all your colors are waning, sliding
from stands like drying sand. Currants effervesce in
bubbles of Champagne, apricot tomatoes are
yanked from the stage by crooks of comic summer squash.
Minutes more and to churned earth, they’ll return. That bud
of cabbage head, chanterelles wrapped in copper ruffles.
Hurry! Hold them, eat them, possess them, those
lovely, lovely things.
Christie Isler, USA