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portraits of red and grey #9 by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

portraits of red and grey #9

by James Morehead

gum department store
moscow's eaton centre
a long glass tunnel lined with shops
                                                         ( and little to buy )
i see soviet efficiency displayed before me
a woman stands in line waiting for shoes
she waits and waits and chooses a pair
only to receive a slip of paper with its price
she takes this paper and stands in line
and gives a cashier the paper and money
she gets a receipt and stands in line
finally trading the receipt for her shoes

i step outside into sunlight
sunglasses hiding me
i notice a teenager
                               tagging behind
i watch him
turning around i pass him ( a test )
                                                        he follows
whispering from behind ''sunglasses 30 rubles''
''50'' i say ( a good capitalist )
he vanishes
i think
i turn a corner
                       face to face before me
he's standing
                      a handful of bills
into my left
                   into his right
without a word disappears

my wallet full
i search moscow streets
empty shops and greasy food pass by
my eyes uncovered squinting
breathing smog in downtown air forgetting
for a second
a thousand mites from toronto 


across a square and traffic
a toy store
lined and filled
i walk across into a crowd
drawn towards large wooden dolls
in wooden dolls
rounded rolling smiling faces
i pull them out and open
lined along a shelf in order
until a russian clerk calls over
and chases my dolls back to their shells
i turn and sigh to a young girl's giggling
across an aisle and smiling
i blush and turn and look
                                        she's gone
i search the store
through bobbing heads
daydreaming of a young girl's smile
and listening for the sound laughter

Next in portraits of red and grey…

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