Elizabeth Gomez: Chinese Boy, Jamaican Mama

Chinese boy, round caramel colored face, tiny almond eyes,
wrapping miniature red lips ’round a ropey red licorice,
he chews while staring right through me.

Coconut butter scented Jamaican mama, nappy-haired dream,
multicolored skirt swaying from the movements of her hips,
edges of fabric brushing the floor lulling my eyes to sleep.

Quick-tongued Puerto Rican grandmas, freckled dark brown spots
surround their dry wrinkled eyes and settle on their cheeks,
shoot robust rounded rolling r’s into the air, too fast to catch.

Black caterpillar eyebrows, bushy unruly salt and pepper haired Greek men
laughing, seated with tiny steaming coffees,
cigarettes playfully dancing in their gesturing hands.

Midwest face, California blonde hair New Yorker, an anomaly,
fresh faced Neutrogena Queen greets me
with a smile and a bagel filled with smoked fishy goodness.

Dark haired Japanese man, stick straight hair covering tiny eyes that I hardly see,
chases dreams of break dancing while serving whiskey,
wishing to one day to return to “home” to his family.

Arizona tourist, middle aged grouch,
recovering from food poisoning and fatigue from tipping,
shakes me into reality when he pays his $1.50
and sings Save the Last Dance for Me.

Imbibing broken English and foreign tongues,
meditating with the vibrations of rocking trains,
savoring the flavors of race and colors,
slicing through the veins of the city that never sleeps.

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