dirty fingernails by John Grochalski

she has dirty fingernails
she stops us and asks
for a quarter
i dig in my pockets
then look at my wife and shrug
my wife finds two dimes
and hands them to her
dirty fingernails
on a warm saturday afternoon
then we find our bar
on st. mark’s place
the last storied joint
on an increasingly gentrified block
i buy us two pints of beer
breaking a crumpled twenty
that i’m betting
against next week’s paycheck
nodding at the bartender
i feel good
for a change.

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