Amy Berkowitz

 



Lucky


On these small streets, every bag is red
and every bag is lucky,
even the garbage bags are lucky.
We asked for two stalks
but she sold us a bag
of bok choy:
a whole lucky red bag
for a dollar. Your belly
is a raisin danish: kiss kiss.
We don't have time
to make love before work,
but we do anyway. Now I'm late to work,
but not that late. Your hair looks perfect today.
My hand fits into your hand. The wind
blows snow and debris
as we cross Fulton street
and the man with no legs
below the knees wheels and grins
and gives a wave. My paycheck's
in the mailbox today. The system's down
and there's nothing to do.
When I get home
we'll watch Nosferatu and stir-fry the bok choy.
I'm going to look for a recipe.

 



Susie


Susie is busy, deadlines
And due dates.
Ben cuts her hair and
Dyes her hair.
She rolls her eyes.
Twice I've seen him kneel
To buckle her shoes. She sighs.
She's generous, she lets him
Suck on her. Little Ben,
Runt of the litter. Red haired
Child with skinny arms. Clown
Smile. He climbs
In her lap. Flesh
meets flesh, slap. Done
with his day's tasks,
Ben yawns thank you
in her ample lap,
gets cozy
and dozes.





Philadelphia Pantoum   


When you live in a railroad at Fifth and Girard
There's not much to do besides wank and bake
You've got five pounds of flour and a twelve-pack of Yard's
You open a beer and start mixing a cake

There's not much to do besides wank and bake
You wank on the couch and you wank on the floor
You open a beer and start mixing a cake
You're twenty-six, circumcised, single, and poor  

You wank on the couch and you wank on the floor  
You finish, you wipe up, you button, you zip  
You're twenty-six, circumcised, single, and poor  
You go down the street to buy chocolate chips  
  
You finish, you wipe up, you button, you zip  
Your upstairs neighbors play reggae bass lines  
You go down the street to buy chocolate chips  
The sun is still out at a quarter to nine  

Your upstairs neighbors play reggae bass lines  
The bodega kitten looks sideways at you  
The sun is still out at a quarter to nine  
The bodega light makes everything blue  

The bodega kitten looks sideways at you  
There are no chocolate chips in the whole crowded store  
The bodega light makes everything blue  
There's a bulletproof candy case next to the door  

There are no chocolate chips in the whole crowded store  
You come up with a plan. You know what to do  
There's a bulletproof candy case next to the door  
You point at the M&Ms and ask for two  

You come up with a plan. You know what to do  
M&Ms are chocolate chips, for fuck's sake  
You point at the M&Ms and ask for two  
There will be M&Ms in everything you bake  

M&Ms are chocolate chips, for fuck's sake  
When you live in a railroad at Fifth and Girard  
There will be M&Ms in everything you bake  
You've got five pounds of flour and a twelve-pack of Yard's