how bazaar

hands are deftly working
banana leaves, sweet doughs
stalls set up, waving brightly
winter’s chill, so far from home
blankets around shoulders
scarf about the heads
in an altogether
empty place
they prepare culinary delights
for ghosts
while observing ramadan


[written for the peculiar sight of a malaysian food market being held in the quad of the university i work at… in the middle of semester break, where precious few people are around – and the stall-holders were all clad in decidedly islamic garb… and it’s ramadan. so they were making these (reportedly delicious, according to the one staff member who tried some kind of doughnuts) foodstuffs, with hardly anyone in the area to buy them, and they themselves (and their community members) would have been unable to eat anything because of their religious observance. so strange. bit mysterious. we all loved it.]