I spilled coffee on my dress this morning
and I am so careless.
Black, two sugars. I paid
in exact change, made sure
I did not brush fingers with the cashier.

Ruined, I take eighteen steps back
to the café. A slow smile stretches
across my face as I order another
though the bitter coffee stain
feels like it is seeping into my flesh.

"I'm sorry," I mutter,
fingers fumbling for three dollars,
sixty-two cents. I am running low on pennies,
why am I always running low on pennies?

Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
The impatient cashier's manicured nails
rap against the counter
in the most disturbing crescendo.

My fingers slack,
releasing the coins as they clatter
downward in a sort of metallic symphony.
I want, no, I need to leave.

I have always preferred even numbers,
something comforting about clean divisions.

Comforting, but ridiculous.
The cashier couldn't have known then,
that that fifth tap would be my undoing.