Ugly Money

Hair like dead grass, sprouting
from the hollows of ears, nose,
and the space between a shirt collar.

Hands bent, wrecked, cracked, and
shaking. Wedding band too small to fit
over swollen knuckles.

Scarred leather wallet, tucked inside
threadbare pocket, its stamp whispers
Made in Germany, in Vietnam.

Watery eyes blink, refocus, determined
to read the glaring screen.
Elbow creaks, extending wrinkled and
stained dollar bills across the counter.

Watching the ugly money slide into
the cash register, dirty coins are
spilled onto open palm, receipt crinkles.

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