She strides through crowds

Swarming alleys that form a tented bazaar

Thick with smells,

Guava, cardamom, bubbling oil, champa,

Her eyebrows knit together

Eyes scanning for where she must

Twist at the waist, lead with her shoulders

Slip through the warp as a ribbon

Weaving nonchalantly toward

Our final destination:

Stalls lined in silks and chiffons.

When I ask how she learned

The shoulder-nudge, side-step,

Squinted-stride, nose-dive

Throughfare dance for crowded streets

She pauses, breathes, and says,

From rickshaws.

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