Fives boast about their size and smooth edges and it’s hard to resist rubbing your coarse, naked thumb all the way around to feel the liquid, flawless flatness; A dime in the pocket waits for the nickel to boast about its size, then smirks with its sharp ridges and invisible heft when the five sees how the ten makes you smile more; The friends chingled and changled and clattered in your anxious palm as you presented it for a crispy, inky morning news, milky, sweetened coffee, or early morning bacon sandwich in 1975. Melted yellow American cheese and fluffy salted egg. Toasted buttered rye; The laughing quarter reaches into the lighted glass world and allows the twirl of the metal coil to drop your dusty Cheetos or left Twix or expired Necco Wafers; Pile it all in your right hand, feel the weight then let it spill spill spill over into the chipped ceramic bowl that you bought at the tag sale at your lonely neighbor’s, or maybe you used a wrinkled paper dollar to get some coins back. A drizzling Saturday morning in September. Western Massachusetts; The metal friends sit in the sticky cup holders in your uncle’s Ford pickup or the top of a father’s oak dresser. They are wrapped in old gum in her Nana’s purse and living in the dark cushions, lost from the pockets of gentlemen; And Little Miss Copper with her oneness shining in the sun. New penny old penny hiding in the dry dirt or waiting on the city sidewalk for you to pick her up so she can inject you with her bad luck like a stepped-on crack or a feline with black fur; Heads are heads and tails aren’t tails; Dimes, pennies, quarters, and nickels cheer when they fall or join their metallic friends. They can’t whisper so they don’t until they are wrapped in brown paper, colored orange, green, blue, and red. Folded ends to trap them inside and marked with a number. Bigger ones that don’t matter to them, because they’re shiny and noisy and alive as they roll and twirl and circle around in the ancient Kenmore dryer.
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