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.