In Shouk HaCarmel the food is alive,
almonds and cashews topped
with burlap hats sing a cappela to the figs.
Vendors chant echad shekel, echad !
while I devour peppers with my eyes,
all hot bottomed green and red babies.
The saffron whispers Be mine to the Zatar.
The slush of Hebrew and English,
the mishmash of metallic doodads
drive me to need a quick snack.
I stop to order a falafel tucked
inside a pita, smothered in tahini and baharat.
The owner of the stand stares,
his eyes dark, focused,
as if living inside a sacred text.
When I leave, he yells, Madame
you forget, reaching
to hand me a sack of hot chips,
I turn around, bow, and repeat
Al Salam! Al Salam!
One of the poems republished in my new book, I Always Knew This available in November from Terror House press