She smiled, sitting at the counter in Mike’s restaurant,
pulled out her false teeth,
then polished the uppers with a napkin.
For the lowers she removed a toothbrush
from her purse, then scrubbed.
At last she stuffed her dentures back in and said,
“My stage name is Dinah Rosenblueth. Ever seen me? '
“Don’t get around much, ” said Morris.
“I guess you never been to Bethlehem, Nevada,
just outside of Reno.
I played there sixteen weeks straight,
packed house every night.
William Korn, the guy who made
a fortune in typewriter ribbons,
I turned him down.
At the time Herman Walker was courting me,
also a rich guy.
Richer than Korn.
Two weeks before the marriage Korn got a stroke
left me everything in his will, he told me so,
but his rotten kids burned it.”
She laughed loudly.
That’s a crime
but they had big shot lawyers
so what could I do?
I went back to Walker
he took me in his arms and said, ‘Now or never.’
He was referring to marriage.
But I could never make a judgment
right then and there.
I was young at the time.
I never liked to jump into something too quick.
Anyway, I wanted to find love.
I didn’t love the man
because he had a huge wart
on the side of his nose.
I told him to get rid of it
but he said that wart brought him luck,
and he didn’t trust doctors.
Whip out that cock, Doyle.
Shoot your load.
How long’s it gonna take?
Twenty seconds? ”
“I gotta finish the potatoes, ” he said as he peeled.
“Here. Here. Look at this picture.”
He glanced at the photograph asking, “When was that taken? ”
George Fritz mumbled, “Like a hundred years.”
“No, thank you, ” said Rosenblueth. “I’m a young woman.”
“Young! You’re ninety.”
She lifted the hairspray and pointed it
in his direction, then sprayed him,
but the stuff didn’t reach his face.
“Old age is fine, ” said Morris,
“gotta be fine
cause the way of reality
cannot be anything but fine.
And reality demands every human being
to get on in years.
Can’t be countermanded by no cosmetics.
My wife turned 72 on Tuesday,
and Lord, I declare
I love her more each passing day.”
“How old are you? ” asked Fritz.
“Me? ” said Morris.
“Her, ” said Fritz pointing to Dinah.
“None of your fucking business, you putz.
Anyway young enough for triple orgasms every time.”
I stared at her.
She appeared to be in her mid-sixties,
John Sitter hobbled in, leaning on his cane.
must have been at least 80.
“Sitter, ” exclaimed Rosenblueth joyously.
“Where you been?
These morons here provide
no thrill for a woman like me.
But you! You!
You do things with verve! with style! ”
“I try to please, ” he said smiling,
“cause you’re a woman highly endowed with mercy.”
John Sitter settled next to Dinah
Rosenblueth, then gently stroked her hair.
She caressed his bald skull.
At that moment John Sitter
kissed the extravagantly painted
red lips of Dinah Rosenblueth.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.