- The Market
Our parents were thrilled when it re-opened, A place to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. So nearby, our mothers practically rolled out of bed Into the market then home into their kitchens or soaps.
Only God could save time, so we thanked Him— Amen! But later for Him for casting a Plague on us, The rats and roaches that plotted while we were asleep— How to get their claws and sharp teeth on our meat.
Both chicken and beef told on itself when our mothers Baked or boiled it. Like lust, the scent of flesh cooking Attracted more of the same greedy occupants we already had. Nightly, their eyes bulged and watered in the darkness
And in the cracks and crevices between our refrigerator And stove, cabinets and walls. They laid eggs We couldn’t eat where they thought we couldn’t see Or reach them. Their families outgrew ours.
Our holidays became theirs. The courageous ones Would chance their lives scurrying across the floor While we ate—blinded by the crumbs that fell From our mouths into theirs like snow.
Works by Thomas Sayers Ellis
• Tambourine Tommy
• Fatal April
• The Market
• A PSYCHOALPHADISCOBETABIOAQUADOLOOP
Thomas Sayers Ellis is studying for the M.F.A. degree in creative writing at Brown University. His work has appeared in a number of periodicals, including Agni, The Kenyon Review, Southern Review, The Harvard Review, and Ploughshares. He is a co-founding member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and co-editor of On the Verge: Emerging Poets and Artists, an anthology.