Shopping in Kabul, 2002

We felt like The Beatles
slinging rifles, not guitars.
Kids mobbed us. We moved.
They moved —

CD store, leather shop,
furs and hats.
A tag-along lugged our bags.
He spoke English, haggled,

led us to the best shops.
Each owned a generator
which cranked up when we entered,
shut down when we left.

I spent $140, tipped Tag-along five,
three for a man to “guard” our truck,
a couple to the cutest urchin girl
and two

for begging burqas chanting,
Thank you dollar! They chased us
into a restaurant.
Three outstretched hands

strained as a waiter
charged past us,
shouting in Dari,
flailing a dishtowel.