Thursday, July 7, 2011

Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Don’t put your money
where your mouth is,
on your lower face,
above the jaw and chin.
That’s gross. Money is
filthy, floppy bills
denatured by the oils
in our hands, grimy
coins jabbed into
pay phones and later
coughed out into our
pockets. Money is dirty
because we touch it
and exchange it.
We are warned, you
don’t know where
that’s been, in other
words, the unknown
is scary or could harm
us. People spend
money in horrible
places and ways.
Where there’s currency,
there is bacteria.
We fear that money
is exchanged in
disgusting circumstances,
and it is. When we
do not trust someone,
we will only accept
cash from them.
We can agree on
how much money
is worth, but when
we think of all the
people who have held
onto the bills and coins
now in our wallets
for an hour or a week
or for months, we squirm.
It won’t stay still.


  1. Eee. I want to go brush my teeth and wash my hands now. Is this why they call it "filthy lucre"?

  2. I love the irony implicit in the line "money is dirty because we touch it and exchange it." I think underneath all the uncharacteristic squeamishness here is a call to pass along the abundance as quickly as possible - for idle cash is the devil's workshop.

  3. Awesome poem. So true. I used to be a cashier in retail and paper money made the palms of my hands peel. Eerie. Colors magazine did an issue that realtes directly to your poem.

  4. Another very good poem!

    The meaning behind the words: a great message.

  5. I squirm too sometimes when I see money go back and forth between hands...incidently our lab was testing dollar bills and we found cocaine on nearly all dollar bills...especially around Mexico : )
    Lovely poem as always! xx

  6. Mrs Little Jeans: that's amazing!

    Yuck, I never think about real money near my mouth but I use the phrase all of the time. Probably won't use it from now on :-)


The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.