He ran a calloused thumb,
over the Zippo flywheel,
out of flint and Ronson.

An older guy, the Navy taught him
to run between raindrops on flightdecks.

On the Boston when Spearhead Marines hit Iwo,
works now at Gabrow’s Toy Store,
there on Avenue B.

Runs numbers for Connie from the pizza store,
who works for Lucy, who is married to
Tony the Barber.

Watches Bilko, Burns, and the Beaver,
has a crush on Coca and Miss Brooks both,
fancies himself to be Palladin.

Sometimes hangs with Blackie from the garage,
or Alvie the addict,
remember – he used to date Momo’s girl?

Got beat up by the guys from Avenue D,
who thought he was someone else.

Has an egg-cream and Joyva jelly bars,
every day at Sid’s,
with the kids
when they come home from school.

Owns Action comics, one through ten,
in absolute mint condition.

But he’s misplaced his reel-to-reels, the original satins,
Art Blakey live at Birdland.

Knows how to treat a lady during slow dances,
like the Elevator, the Five Hundred, The Press.

Likes taking his time,
with Bonomo Turkish Taffy.

Is a Dodger fan,
but secretly likes Rizzuto.

Will not live to see fifty,
killed by a time traveler with a knife and a cape.

Chagall 2013

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