The Memory of a Number

There is a number I’m trying to remember:
8 or pi; something binary or imaginary.

At the coffee shop I’m thinking:
“Two pounds French roast,
twenty five dollars and ninety cents.
How many beans?

What time is it?”

They don’t know the number,
never have,
don’t even know they don’t know it,
don’t understand when I ask.

She hands me a cup of coffee,
12 ounces, with room for three teaspoons

It’s said humans can’t tell one crow from another,
but crows can distinguish each of us by face.

Seven billion, seven hundred and twelve million,
two hundred and five thousand and sixty-two faces.

The number I’m trying to remember doesn’t
have wings or recognize faces.
It’s not a substance, a size,
an experience, a time or a distance.

The crow drinking from the fountain
recognizes the face of the man
in search of the number he can’t remember.

And I, like that undistinguished crow,
see the face of the man as I
drink from that same unremarkable fountain.