Unicorn, on the way home from work,

four days into a new year, was packed.

Teeming with the resolute and the earnestly hip.


I got a trolley, not a basket,

to signal my intent.

Though in truth I was out of my depth.


I tried to look like I knew what I was doing.

Conferred with some pears,

squeezed an apple that called itself ‘Topaz.’


Going too far, I kissed a Crown Prince squash,

held a ripe kohl rabi to my ear,

hoping for the sound of the sea.

Or at least for some clue as to what to do.


It told me nothing.

I had to discover for myself that beneath their skins,

the sweet potatoes and carrots were purple and that the radishes inside were black.


The vegetables did not want to speak to me;

they were all so pleased with themselves.

There was a Citron there that looked smug enough to eat.


I might sound bitter,

but this place makes me happy.

Makes me feel that the world is wide.


It speaks in tongues that I am yet to taste.

And is full of lovers I’m yet to meet:

Muhammara, Sambal Oelek, Za’atar.

Kimchi and caramel pecan praline.


I’m just not in the right place right now.


So I failed, in the end, to decide,

between the toasted or the untoasted tofu.

Having no clue what I would do with either.

Nor with the harissa, the halva, the millet or the four different kinds of tahini.


But, man, I was glad they were there.


I left hungry, tired, moon-dazzled, bamboozled,

with some flour of finely ground green pea.


And God knows what I’ll be having for tea.