first time in Abidjan and

knew to expect different from the guide book

I put it aside and my head out the window

of this and that taxi, to watch people and city.

city: plants (for sale?) at orange-dust road berths

pot upon pot of glossed leaves and proud flowers

an inventory of envy for a northern gardener.

people: sweeping the orange-dust road berths

sweeping and sweeping clean in white uniforms

I am already hot, doing nothing.

Orange dust-coloured too, these gung-ho taxis

inevitably, invariably Toyotas. Obligatory loyalty

driven by accessible spare parts

sine qua non of congestion and pot-holes.

an Ivoirian army built on elliptical logos

serving travellers, those local,

or this one or that one,

watching from windows.