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January 24

 I was about to be mugged by a man 
with a chain so angry he growled
at the Lincoln Center subway station
when out of nowhere appeared a tall
chubby-faced Hasidic Jew with peyot
and a black hat a black coat white shirt
with prayer-shawl fringes showing 
we walked together out of the station
and when we got outside and shook hands 
I noticed he was blind.
Goodbye, I said, as giddy as a man waking from an anesthetic in the recovery room, happy, with a hard-on.
The cabs were on strike on Broadway so beautiful a necklace of yellow beads I breathed in the fumes impossibly happy

by David Lehman
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