Kirsten Cowie + Sandra Collins

Lê Thánh Tôn

Monday, April 27th, 2009

The heat and the noise come together clanging and rise above daily industry. It’s smelling an orange and biting into an onion. Food and arguments spill out open doors like potatoes dropping off a pedlar’s cart; sweet, sour, ripe, rotten. The sound becomes the durians, the racket chopped in doorways with lumps of carcass. Street songs entwine in a crescendo, seeking rubbish, selling time. Spoons banging together sing of noodles and bay leaves and kaffir lime, coriander, blood jelly, star anise. Yellowed fingernails and red plastic stools mix fish sauce with midmorning chat. Coffee with condensed milk and nicotine are knees close together on a sea of Honda 50s and chili, burning high heels on Vespas, back to back, bumper to bumper, sweat on sweat. Fish sauce and shrimp paste fume with jasmine, smoke and beef bones, road works spurting into solid waste. Bumps and potholes are squealing pigs and chickens and mucous and spit spat from all angles. Sweet mango that wafts through the rank is the child’s song splashing in puddles after a downpour.