by Charlene Monahan Spearen
Fifth Avenue in the cold-weather sun I bury first chin
then mouth in a scarf of magenta and berry-brown
it licks the air in long loops doubles back
then caresses my cheek
I begin to feel to feel good.
My steps count the numbered streets
forty-eight forty-nine fifty and then fifty-one
on my right St. Patrick’s Cathedral a double-spiraled
House of God inside I taste the scent of burning wax
grace that glows in blood-red glass jars
I begin to feel to feel holy.
Everything has a beginning I hunger for mine
First Avenue at East Sixty-third at the Wicked Wolf
a piper plays “The Lonesome Boatman” mouth music
spills into the air I remember the fields of Carikatee
where popular trees grow and the low flax gleams
I begin to feel to feel Irish.
Yellow cabs scurry across avenues
In Soho the people and the city lights shimmer
at the Nuyorican Café the house is full from the stage
words elegant and dirty powerful words come
and kiss my lips
I begin to feel to feel sexy.
Day and night too soon reach and end
I pull up my hood against the early morning quiet
walk toward the Vanderbilt “Y”
in room 658 with its one wall of blue
a steam radiator spits out an old
and tire groan.
I am alone and I ask myself
Why is it
That I begin to feel to feel good?
From Siahyonkron Nyanseor’s Archive