10/03/09

A mist falls

to the irregular rhythm

of horns honking,

in the streets

sad dogs lay

draped across sidewalk,

beggars whisper, bones

stuck out of

sullen faces,

cows wander

dropping dung

at liesure.

stall after stall of colorful goods

overflow,

the burnt incense smells

sweet,

the forbidden fruit

too.

quietly I wander

western eyes

adjusting slowly.

“Namaste Madame”

a Napali man calls

“would you like some hashish?

a very good price!”

I shake my head

a horn blares behind

the bike’s engine whines and

I leap quickly left,

its sideview mirror

grazes my arm hair

raises my neck hair,

my elbow nearly bumps

the orange-cured

pig laid out on a wooden block

quartered and chopped

course black hair holding still

to its back.

nose wrinkling filth putridly

rises from a trashpile

nearby, three children

sit beside it, motioning

to me that their mouths

need feeding.

above my head

the store signs are stacked-

Pashminas! Yakwool Sweaters!

WiFi! International Telephone!

Bhudda Cafe! Nepali Food!

Trekking! Yeti Tours!

a colorful 5th avenue of

third world Nepal

just as loud as

Manhattan’s streets

and, to me,

far more

real.

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