As soon as I landed in the Teacher’s Center
I said, “Anthony, I heard stories.”
“What stories, Bernstein.”
“The Blue Babies, you’re giving ‘em away,
but not to me.”
“Not so loud, ” he said, eyes darting about the room.
Suddenly: “Hello, Anthony” from Princess Rothchild
a smile, then sauntering to a chair she called her Throne.
“You been holding out, ” I said, not
letting him off the hook.
Immediate laughter, the space where his
front teeth were,
hitting me between the eyes.
“I swear on my mother, Bernstein.”
she’s been dead eighteen years
I was at the funeral, remember?
and who stuffed your gut with Yellow Wonders
so you wouldn’t crack up. Me.”
“My other mother, ” he mumbled
clearly grasping at straws
then silence, a quick stare at Princess Rothchild
and the immediate giggle from her.
I said slowly: “We ain’t crazed druggies,
just need a bit of peace
at night, if the bad dreams
storm the soul.”
“Always the Poet, Bernstein, ” he said
again trying to shift facts.
Silence, both weary
realizing we weren’t tough galoots
the world having kicking us in the ass
for years, now only a few left
when Anthony sighed
all breath crushed from his chest
finally pulling out a handful
of sky blue Beauties.
“For me? ” I asked merrily.
“Does things my wife never will.”
From the corner of my eye
Princess Rothchild moving in
Anthony hadn’t spotted her
the Hefty One Zip gallon storage bag
and waiting, a moment later