Monday, March 27

When we moved to Kansas

When we moved to Kansas
we bought a green car
with cigarette stains
and a windshield cracked
like the salesman’s
tobacco-stained smile.
“There’s a handling fee”
he said, handing me a pen.
We had spent weeks
crawling car lots for anything
with lower mileage,
decent alignment.
I signed. The first of many
surrenders. Sometimes
I find the cheap bid,
the bank error from Monopoly.
I keep a tally in my head.
“How’s the week been?”
I ask as the cashier returns
a quarter too much in change.

Jesse Kates *