hierarchy

He’s got droopy pink lips that shine with a layer of saliva and his face is pale with small purple patches like a turnip. He has difficulty fitting full sentences into his head and from his mouth come pairs of words or small groups of three or four. He’s small, under-nourished as a child, his uneven adult body still uneasy in its awkward parts. His mouth is a bit too big for his head and his eyes are a bit too small. I could cup his hands in mine but he has broad shoulders that could swing a mighty punch. The larger men laugh at him behind his back but they need him because he’s the one who fixes the metal bars together and sweeps up the rotten veg. He makes the structures that make the market. Every morning, every night. And he always says hello to me, with dribble running from his lip to his chin.

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