Randon sheds his t-shirt. He takes the twenty
quarters from Leno’s hand, relishing
the brush of Leno’s distinguished fingers.
Randon regards the crowd whose eyebrows are raised,
whose girlfriends mime a gagging motion
and lets his gaze fall on the red camera dot,
the weight of a million eyes on his stomach.
Randon, pretend we’re in a room together practicing.
Four quarters at a time, push them as far
to one side of your bellybutton as you can
with the efficiency of an assistant
filing away papers. Don’t be afraid
to let your frustration show
when you reach the ten quarters hump.
And always savor the piggy bank noise
your stomach makes when you relax to prove
the quarters are cradled safely in your belly.
Randon’s eyes dart from the red camera dot,
to Leno, to the band huddled in the corner
to the crowd:
“This is exactly why you always wash your
hands after handling money,” some say.
“He is obviously fond of vending machines,” others say.
Their criticism is stifled
by Leno’s applause,
by all of us gloating back home,
by the roar of the band
celebrating a superior performer.