Pike Place Public Market by Jennifer Lagier

I have wandered into alien territory.
An albino transvestite asks if I know
the world as we know it has ended.
He is framed by two homeless women
swaddled beside ragged dogs
within filthy blankets.
A toothless musician sits upon
a plastic bucket, rattles Starbucks cups
filled with percussive pebbles.
“I am soooo screwed up,”
the chick with dilated pupils falling
out of a passing pedicab announces.
Fish mongers hawk slabs of halibut,
pink salmon cadavers.
The hulking black guy dressed
as a turquoise tyrannosaurus
twists red and green balloons
into improbable animals.
I cross the intersection,
am accosted by an activist
clutching a clipboard.
He rants about the injustices
wreaked by a corrupt legal system.
The buffed bike cop arrives on cue,
clears a swath to permit passage
of cash wielding tourists.

Jennifer Lagier has published ten books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Forthcoming books: Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle). Website: http://jlagier.net


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