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  • After
    cashing the paycheck
    and paying off the rent,
    the monthly bills
    and the personal loans,
    then getting half a tank of gas
    and a few groceries,
    I found that I was quite literally
    down to my last buck.
    that's right...
    only a one dollar bill left
    to my name and in my pocket.
    of principle alone,
    I was going to make damn sure
    no one else was going to have that dollar
    but me.
    I'd sooner wipe my ass with it
    or maybe even frame it,
    than letting it slip through my fingers.
    to what
    a dollar can buy
    these days was a good question;
    maybe a candy bar
    or a pack of gum,
    three calls on a payphone
    if you can find one,
    parking meter money
    or coffee at a greasy spoon
    and without a donut,
    I was determined
    to hold onto the raggedy thing
    come hell or high water
    for as long as I could.
    in fact,
    I was adamant about it.
    it served as a perfect symbol for me.
    at least
    that's what I was thinking
    while driving north on Santa Fe Avenue
    until I got caught by a red light
    at 7th Street.
    then before I knew it,
    this ancient guy came toward me
    from out of nowhere,
    desperately rolling himself over to me
    in a busted-up wheelchair,
    the thing squeaking and jiggling
    while he started yelling
    and trying like hell
    to get my attention.
    the man was emaciated,
    like a living skeleton of past wars,
    in possession of only one eye,
    his missing eye
    leaving just a stubby hole in his head
    seemingly torn out of its socket
    by the roots.
    here he came to me
    begging and pleading for something--
    I could spare
    for this lowliest of bottom feeders,
    this alpha and omega of charity,
    this dialectic of mercy.
    entire matter
    left me but two choices:
    I could either cave in out of guilt
    give him my last contested dollar
    I could get out of my car
    and finish him off!
    it wouldn't take much
    I figured.
    even though
    the light turned green,
    I gave him the lousy dollar.
    I mean,
    what the fuck...
    anything else
    would've just gotten
    far too complicated
    for what it was worth.
    as to what
    a dollar can buy...?
    how about
    some peace of mind.
    (c)2015 Miles Ciletti
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