Yabka, apples, slivki, plums.
She points to fruit with her gnarled hand.
He smiles and tries to understand,
fondling with fingers and with thumbs.
Nearby, another vendor hums
a song from some exotic land,
a land of coffee, dates and sand.
Another opens pickle drums,
hangs a chain of smoked frankfurters.
Another grins, displaying leek
& morel cheese.
Though there are fences,
here mid the chimes of dimes and quarters,
people smile to say they speak
the Esperanto of the senses.
first appeared in The Pennsylvania Review