between big box buildings of concrete and glass, on the street corner exists a farmers market. awnings and tables, fresh produce from farms shipped to the city array in rainbow mosaics. they fill the air with their musk, of creation and earth, of sweat in their birth. hand made magic marker signs in all sizes post prices, three for this, a bushel for that.. wooden baskets. cardboard boxes. brown bags. scales to weigh the pick of the day. a plate bearing samples to taste.
vendors are colors as well in personality, the ones pushing the sale, some just waiting humbly for you to choose them, and then those that come to talk and if they take less home than they brought, it's a blessing. voices on voices on voices as people amble through. the pace is different within the confines of this space or savoring.
at the fountain, where the sidewalk takes people back to work, reality and the road out of town, men, women and children sit, just a little removed and dip shirts in the water, sometimes bringing them to their lips to assuages the cracked flesh. they are different and the same, dirty, frayed around the edges, carpets walked on too long before replacing.
across the street an art gallery crouches with its back to the river, a man stands outside the stenciled door, wires and pipes, an old motherboard broken in the shape of a heart and a telephone for a crotch. his finger points up as if he is hailing a cab or trying to get your attention to whisper prophecy, old 35mm lenses focusing uptown. he is art. he is junk. all in the eyes you use as you look at him.
a few spare parts scatter on the side walk, finding toes that send them into the gutter of the road. how many has he lost and where do they go to find their own home. my son keeps any we find in a shoebox under his bed and dreams of one day building his own robot.
on Saturday mornings a Hispanic family unfold worn lawns chairs and sell the prettiest flowers out the lowered tailgate of a rust eaten white and blue truck, wrapped in pages of yesterday's newspaper, for five dollars.
written for Imperfect Prose.