loose change

the fall air, too humid still, sticks to my skin
and my hand opens, palming the quarters off
to the starbucks barista. i am 34 years old and
still pay with change for my coffee, for my ikea
lingonberry drink, for my cigarettes. i hate
the smell of the money on my fingers,
that metallic residue that carries with it
the hands of countless unknown others,
the scent of leather wallets, pocketbooks,
the soft flimsy material that is supposed to
pass for pockets in womens jeans, barely
large enough to fit my hand at all. the bills
are bad enough, that dingy green paper,
but the coins are the worst, and i can’t
wait to get wherever it is that i’m going,
to rid myself of the sticky fingerprints,
to erase the reek of metal from flesh,
to wash the smell of blood off my hands.


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