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MEMORIES OF YOU / Philip Levine for Illinois Jacquet Some moments never die. I know they told us otherwise, but light still sprays from the golden tenor as in your long dark suit you slide out on the stage of the Paradise where all else is dark, lean back, and with closed eyes blow yourself into my own cry of longing. I too close my eyes. Once more I'm among hundreds of standing kids, hoping the melody wUl never stop, the song go on beyond this present moment to become a voice without end. How clear could it be? I'm alone, as I was then, but then it was wrong, for I believed in what you'd lost: that we are born to find each other here in the cities of the world, where what we hoped for turns to rain, to hands too tired to close, rooms without riches where we eat and sleep. How simple could it be? Those kids believed in your voice that tired before the night tired. They went out into the streets looking for what they'd never find. Alone, each of them made the long way home by bus where the old ones leaned or fell against each other, then on foot past miles of dark windows and no sky above to light the way or lead them back to what little there was. I see him walking alone, the kid I was, hearing the snows dripping from the bumpers of parked cars, from brick stoops, and sagging eaves. I see him as I always will, a kid, his hands deep in his coat pockets, 22 · The Missouri Review his hair glued down, his collar up, a kid fired by memories of you. Philip Levine The Missouri Review · 23 ...


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