Saturday Poem: 'The Deli Man on 83rd Street Is Hooked on Powerball'

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“You got to play to win, sweetheart,”

he says

and shares his lucky numbers,

all multiples of eight.

“I like my numbers

like I like my women,” he says,

and draws a thick eight

in the air between us.

“I’m telling you,” he says,

“I’ve got a good

feeling about this.”

His name is Joe.

He’s been here 20 years.

He makes the best egg on a roll in town.

—Lori Jakiela

Lori Jakiela is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus and teaches in the MFA program at Chatham University ( Her collection of mostly narrative poems about her former career as a flight attendant is titled “Spot the Terrorist” (Turning Point Press).

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