Passion and Materialism

Passion and Materialism

As I walk, pushing
through the flood of the crowd,
awash under the breakneck
pull of the Flushing stores; the racial
mixture, muddy colored, vibrant, mulatto,
trying to remember her face
in this green melon-colored
slice of avenue. Wanting to, but
not being able to. Looking
for the prompts I need
to evoke her. For, try as I might,
there are only three ways
I can recall her vividly. One, by going
to a place where we had sat or walked
or argued in the street, sometimes,
not usually, I could see her
in my mind. Or by looking at others
who looked like her:
The long line of their jaws or
their flat noses: her jaw, her nose. Not
always. Not usually. Yet surely
the third was the simplest way.
I would wait for her, and
minutes before she was due
I would read signs; worried she’d be late,
And then, suddenly, able to remember
how she looked, so present,
so pleasant, so ravishing as she lifted
her arms to hold her daughter.

–Jim Feast