Eastern Market

When I first saw Eastern Market it was exactly what I expected:
Open-air warehouses stocked to the brim with life –
Hundreds of people milling about the fresh fruit,
The watermelon was still caked in mud when the vendor sliced it open
For samples.

When I first entered Eastern Market it was like hitting a wall:
A wall of people
A wall of smells –
The faint sweetness of strawberries,
The rhubarb that so reminded me of my great-grandmother’s yard
The spices as fragrant and penetrating as the Silk Road
Must have been.

When I first tried leaving Eastern Market I got lost:
The market expands –
In, out, left, right:
Further and further down the rabbit hole.
The crevices have crevices
And in the most secluded of them all is a secret door that leads to a tiny store
That sells priceless antiques for 50 cents.

The broke city has never seemed richer to me.


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