Spring 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1996 |

A Missed Opportunity

If Christ slept with the sparrows he would have heard the same grating cheep I had to listen to in a Jersey boarding house of prostitution and needle work where   I did my apprenticeship. I was trying to sell myself, or rather my "air time," playing jazz all-night, while during the day I knocked on doors no one would answer, and survived on scallops and soda   (my only account a restaurant). Oh I'd be all right, in school that fall, planning a lucrative career in the law, but hardly slept a night with all that moaning in the room next door.   Even now I keep those whining voices with me in a small compartment with a bare light bulb, a roach the size of my fist, and old newspapers with want ads circled in red.   My boss, and here's the point, was Mister Roy Cohn, who cost my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Charlie their jobs in fifty-three. They were Commies, really, who believed in Class Warfare and Revolution,   and owned a jewelry store in the Bronx held up weekly b

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