My Ten-Rupee Smile

You had a gift for me, you said
An excuse to see me again over the weekend
And continue the conversation that
Despite our careful carrying of our respective dignities
Sloshed over and spilled into crazy laughter, often.

I thought back to the day prior
A quick coffee turned six-hour un-date
Costume trials at a movie props shop
Hidden corners and even more secret smiles
We talked about religion, about family, of madness and science.

When you showed up, I leapt a tiny yippee in my head
Till I noticed your hands, empty and shrugging,
A little white lie, as good an excuse as another
So I pulled back to planet Earth and said hello
You turned to me, beaming smile and I was lost for awhile.

The conversation resumed as we negotiated traffic and ideas
And when you took my hand at the crossing, blushing sensation too
When you let go there was a round ten-rupee coin in my hand
One of the first two you’d ever seen, showing me its twin in your wallet,
Preserved till they were plentiful and 10-rupee coins, just currency

Because I had told you I hadn’t seen one, you said
No fancy wrapping paper, no ribbons or flourishes
Just a coin’s worth of memories
and a sweet ten rupee smile
No one ever gave me gifts like these

Till a month later, you did, again
Tiny broken capillaries you said they were
Right over my heart, I noticed later
A love-bite the exact size of that coin in my wallet
You bought my smile in those ten rupees.

3 thoughts on “My Ten-Rupee Smile

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