519

Top of the hill, building on the right with the two lights  shining. Between Amsterdam and Broadway.

Between Columbia University and Grant Housing projects.

Between black and white.

Mama got a tab at the corner store. Today she need eggs and bacon and chicken and sends me down the hill to the butcher for fresh meat. 

She got her number written down on a piece of paper. She need me to do that first so I walk past the butcher today who waves because he’s got mamas chicken wings, bacon and eggs wrapped and ready to go.

Past him is the bodega. In the back is where you play your numbers. Mama like it straight. I say to Jose, “519 straight.” He laughs and I laugh too. He opens his hands for money. I give him two dollars, he gives us hope. 

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