In the slum of Cité Soleil, Haiti,
a woman squats with mudstained arms
grey like elephant trunks.
She opens a bundle and lays out cookies
the size of your palm, yellowish and hard.
They are made of dirt.
Rather clay, shortening and salt,
and edible, in a way.
Two cups of rice are sixty cents,
far too much for the poor to afford,
(the better-off among them live on two dollars a day)
So they eat these cookies.
They trick the stomach into believing
it has been fed.
Fed, but not nourished.
Toxins and parasites live in the soil,
but it’s better than nothing,
when you’re starving.
Port-au-Prince, Manila, Cairo, Nairobi, Mexico City,
São Paulo, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro—Detroit?