silvermad colts running
laps around the industrial park.
Joe checks out for lunch and
wanders to the tiled fountains,
He folds the morning memo into a
sailboat and watches it cruise the
walled incline, over the steps,
through a curtain of
water and gone.
Returns to his sandwich and
finds a clump of pink along the
central fountain. Fishes it out:
a letter in Chinese.
He pulls out a business card and
folds it into a dinghy.
Sets it on the same course,
down, over, through, gone.
Returns to find a
concert program in Italian.
An hour later, Joe finishes the
sandwich and studies his
collection: menu in Arabic,
crossword puzzle, Swahili;
cigarette box, Spanish;
party invitation, Russian.
Dozens of others.
Jahib walks past, quizzical.
Joe asks for a piece of paper.
Jahib hands him a
receipt from a restaurant,
certain that his colleague has gone mad.
When Joe returns to the fountain,
he finds a photograph of his wife.
He has never thrown a punch before.
He expects it will hurt.
From the collection Fields of Satchmo
Photo by MJV