By the Dozen

Once upon a time,
a baker’s dozen really meant something.
Now, I go to Lenny’s on ninety eighth
and I order myself twelve bagels
and what do they do?
They give me six extra bagels!
You can’t trust no one
to do nothing right anymore!
What am I supposed to do
with eighteen bagels?
What is this mishigas?

Believe you me,
it’s not like the old days,
I can tell you that much for free.
They burned down the Broadway Diner,
you know.
Who? You know.
Them. The Jews.
Fine, then.
The Us.
We burned down the diner,
you happy?

I don’t know.
For the insurance, I guess.
Why not?
They say it’ll open again,
but it won’t ever be the same.
It never is.
The neighborhood’s changing.
You know, it wasn’t that long ago
that crack cocaine was available
on every corner
and I didn’t have to walk more than two blocks
to find a lady of the evening
to keep me company
for the night?

Now I have to use a service.
But at least I have the bagels to serve them
when they arrive, so…
there’s that.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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