She moves like a panther in the dark.

The show rolls in an elegant Kenyan theatre but I can’t take my eyes off the peanut girl.  She approaches as the screen brightens, brushes me with candies, then disappears.  The intent makes the seat hard.

At intermission, I see she’s a princess.  She stands close and I smell the evening’s work.

“Would you like a final feature?”

We parade hand-in-hand to a chicken cafe, and she speaks of meeting a sister, while cleaning the chicken to the bone, and lustily washes it down with three beers.

“We have time now.”

She’s a hell-raiser.  The mattress trampolines and whips moans that last…

We walk hand-in-hand to meet her sister at midnight.  The sidewalk starts to crack and is littered.  Disheveled denizens shift past or peer silently from alcoves.  We enter a door of peeling paint into a room where light bulbs hang like dots.

It’s another cinema!  Trash heaps the corners, old smudges climb walls, sloppy drunks mill, and a foreign track scratches my ears. “What?…”

She shoves by the drunks to stand behind a greasy candy glass.  Her face darkens, “In line!”  Her hands work like a boxer, money in, candy out…  “One at a time!”

I race on jelly legs from the slum to the hotel.  She took my hand from a lavish theatre to a ghetto cinema without batting an eyelash, and there’s one loose end.

Did I make love to her or her sister?