No Cash Allowed

by Sandra Esmeralda De Anda

I insert
quarters like small metal balonies
that Oscar Meyer shit I couldn’t afford back
when I was talking to my neighbor who said I was boyish with my large
T’s—never forget to cross them
the difference between time and lime is just one line
and the rest is 100% pulp mass produced.

I was collecting coins while you were collecting experiences
Dried apricot slices that i put into the washing machine
cold water for my colored fabrics, 
i let the white socks just get lost because for every sock I lose
i get another lover in return
A reminder to pay for my student loans
Another taco truck where i hadn’t seen one before. 

Eucharist wafers in the coin slots, 
holy water on my noodle souped turtlenecks
soft broth baptism i remember you telling me that I had the hunger
to eat myself and you if i could and i mean I tried but
i spit you out like alphabet soup so much
gibberish in my mouth i almost confused
you for the gum I chew in the morning to be hungry by noon.

You weren’t spicy at all so i ate myself 100 times over and over
something that is over before it is over,
feeling tossed in the washing machine with all the crumbs the asteroids in the universe
wondering like a Brown Ophelia that no matter how many cycles I pay for there is still no revolution.

Sandra Esmeralda De Anda is a local writer, stand up comedian, and cultural and political critic. A recent graduate of Reed College, she has returned home to Santa Ana to teach writing at a local high school and organize with her community around deportation defense and tenant evictions. Her writings on local immigration policies and local immigration organizing are occasionally featured on a weekly column in the OC Weekly.

Omar Alhashani