Quarter Smile

I broke a smile into a dollar change

and still sport the black eye.

The morning tastes like stale coffee

all gritty upon my tongue,

and you are the first to remind me

of my age.

I remember when they introduced

state edition quarters.

Shiny and new metallic landscapes

that I could roll my thumb over

and tell everyone I traveled

while I did my laundry.

You can’t even tell me the names

of all the states,

but you never needed to do laundry

so you didn’t travel beyond the care

of your mother’s hands.

Until you moved across the hall

from my dormitory border,

and proceeded to introduce me

to all your loud beat friends

and broken heart swooners.

You boasted to me 

that the crash of their hearts

could rival any metal band drummer

and you wanted to create music

with their heartbreaks.

You smiled and stretched their tears

the length of your face.

So, I broke a smile

to hear your teeth clang

like quarters in a dryer.


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