Montego Bay  

I go to the front desk
& ask the woman there
to call me a taxi. 

She stares at me like a cat,
waiting to leap
into grass.

She calls a tourist van.
She tells the driver
you are sick.  

Tells him
I need to go
to a pharmacy.

The driver tells me
we will have to go far
so late at night.

He wants to know
if the lady
told me the price.

I tell him no.
He tells me
it will be $50.

He says
he will only accept
American dollars.

I tell him I have no choice
I will have to pay
& he drives away.

He drives
& tells me things
about the city

that I do not care for.
He stops at a pharmacy
half an hour later.  

I enter,
passing a security guard,
eyeing me like a flight attendant,

assessing whether I’ll be
a safety concern
as midnight closing approaches.

When I tell the pharmacist
that I don’t have a prescription,
she puts six pills in a small,

zip plastic bag,
& will only take payment
in American dollars.

When the driver
takes me back
to the hotel,

he comes in
after me
& goes to the desk clerk.

He gives the lady her share
& leaves.
The pills work for you.

If you, dear reader,
think you have read
these words before:

the ordeal must not
have been your first
dog & pony show.