Amid a busy night market
With the smell of exotic, foreign food
Permeating the air,
With the squid on sticks
Grilling on snack stands everywhere.
With peddlers lined along the
Pavement screaming and shouting
Hoping to catch an ear for the wares they sell.
With selected streets lighten in
Red where destitute women
Sell their souls for
Eight dollars an hour,
And with men attired
With only cloth around their waist,
Who beat themselves with a
Nail at the end of a belt
Believing that the gods will be pleased
With the blood that splatters all around,
While curious eyes gathered to watch.
And amid this noisy stirring night market,
A cry wails out in the midst of
Bustling people moving to and fro.
A painful cry of despair,
A sorrowful weeping of tears.
An old woman sits on the
Crowded pavement of the street
With a child who naively suckles
On a tattered, rubber nipple
While blinded eyes and
Deafened ears pass and go.
A black and white picture
Of a man lies next to her
Along with foreign inscriptions
On rice paper, that appears
As death, reign the portrait.
As she cries with a hand outreached
Searching maybe for a listener
To her song of pleading.
I reach out among the crowd
With a green paper of worth in my hand.
Quickly my hand was emptied,
And the weeping ended ...
For a moment in my mind, the world stood motionless.
The peddlers silenced,
The prostituting ceased,
The beating, the blood, froze,
And the odors of the market
Dissipated to nothing.
A second past;
Her wailing continued once again.
And I, like the blinded and the deafened,
Continued walking until the
No longer reached my ears.