the cost of it

That man over there is stealing wishes. He crouches low enough to saturate ankles only, as knuckles grip coins with hidden messages of measured hopes.

I want her to love me again /  I wish the knot beneath my breast goes away / I wish for work / I wish for peace / I wish the earth could be paved, so all the cracks could disappear / I wish all this rain and wind wouldn’t be so angry all the time / I wish i wish i wish i didn’t need to wish like this / I wish I wasn’t like this / I wish they understood why I need to change this / I wish I didn’t like the smell of my blood so much / I wish rent was lower and my paychecks were heavier / I wish for less war and more questions / I wish I wasn’t an addict/ I wish you had remained past your heal / I wish I didn’t want / I wish for more things / I wish. I wish. / I wish I knew / more / ……. 

I wonder if the wishes have already grown into truths, pushing them back into (just) currency. Then, his selfish pluck would have no effect on the wishers. I want to stop him from stealing desires. I want to give him the change from my pocket because there are no expectations attached, just dirt and smudge. I want to tell him that some people are still waiting on these. I want to remind him that he may have wishes in there too.

When I was younger, my mom would fish out a penny from her rectangular wallet and let me throw it into the fountain at the Freehold Raceway mall. It was the sound of splash that verified it was heard. My wishes were meaningless then, far lighter than the ones I toss out now. That fountain still exists and I’m still waiting on one or two hopes.

Now, I wish on rocks. Throw them with all my strength in Brooklyn puddles and hope that the steam of summer presses them into actuality.