It didn't surprise me when Tony offered me benzedrine
out of a familiar-looking glass vial. He and his friends
had the minds of fifteen-year old felons:
they knew just where I'd hide the goods. This vial had found its way
from inside the stuffing of a pillow in my bedroom
to the watch pocket of some kid's Levis. How did they think
to look there amid the chunks of foam rubber?

They hadn't found the glassine bindles I tucked between the pages
of my CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. I checked right away.

That night I locked everything of value into the compartment
hidden under the carpeting in the back of my Opel station wagon.
That's probably the first place the cops'd look if they pulled me over
cops have special radar that way, just like those kids
but at least it was locked.

I did by the way take the offered snort of my own benzedrine.
After all, Tony needed the sleep more than I did. He was still a
growing boy, smoking Marlboros and perching there
on the back of the sofa
like some wild exotic bird.

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