“There is no aphrodisiac like innocence”
― Jean Baudrillard
Two 20 (dollar) bills
Were set parallel
On Tay’s dresser.
“I can’t tell.” He said, grabbing and
Escorting a buck to his desk lamp.
He held it before a light-beam.
The money functioned like a lens cover,
Casting a mossy green spot-light
Across the room, ending inside a corner.
“What’s the watermark suppose ta’ look like?”
Tay’s forearms and hands tunneled the glow
In shadow. “Beats me.” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
“You’re the expert.”
“I had assistance, though.”
“It’s easier to make a fake
When you have help.”
I grabbed the other dollar,
Folded it and rubbed the halves
Together. “What does that do?” Tay asked.
“Saw it in a movie. Real money has like, uh, like
A grainy feel to it.”
“That doesn’t sound real.” Tay said.
“Yeah?” I replied. “Neither does counterfeiting.
I mean…we’re talking FBI, federal-crime-shit here.”
Voices from strangers escaped the hallway
And infiltrated Tay’s apartment.
Phonics stripped the dialogue of word comprehension,
Presenting, instead, tonal changes resembling aggression.
High pitched inflections met a guttural melody that was punctuated
With a door slam and then silence as if not understanding was normal.
“I guess…if we can’t tell…that’s a good sign.” I said.
“I vote we spend some and see if it works.” Tay proposed.
“Democracy at its finest.” I said.
We pocketed the money, gathered our phones and keys
And left the apartment. We spent the walk to the gas station
Discussing what we’d buy. “I think I’ll buy cigarettes.”
Tay concluded. “I can’t think of anything else worth the felony.”
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