by Robert Herschbach
It can stink like old shoes,
curl at the edges, be a face
gone ragged and creased.
It’s still tender. A machine
may not take it but somebody will.
Job’s gone, plastic expired
but in a heap of clothes
a pocket yields its folded promise:
you won’t end this night
hungry or sober. Fries oiling the paper,
the haddock snug in its batter,
the too–sweet wine that will have to do
greeting your lips like a sloppy kiss —
cash is the invite to such a feast
It bears your prints, the residues
of touch. No other approval needed,
nothing to swipe or sign.
Though the world’s poker faced
behind aces and queens,
you’ve got a trick up your sleeve —
the moment yours to spend.