Last week,in the back pocket of my jeans, I found a forgotten dollar bill. After a journey in the belly of the washing machine, it was as white as hominy grits. In the Express Line at Target, Ginger shook her head. She wouldn't take it, because the face of the Father of our Country had vanished, gone with the green. When I pointed out that "In God We Trust" was still legible, she smiled and shook her head again. Vanishing green I had met before, in Detroit, the City of Straits, when my father's bank went under during the Great Depression. After that legal tender was as scarce as a barnacle in the desert. What we had instead was an idea-account at home, pouches of clinking insights, each one a mint prayer. When my life began to smoke like a short circuit, and all the lights in the basement died, I would ask my father for a loan. Silver solder always brought the current back.

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