Artwork © Ira Joel Haber


The Fluidity of Dimes

We stumbled back to his place
from a small gathering,
both of us a version of tipsy
edging on topsy
flirting with turvy.

In his bathroom I noticed a dime,
alone, sitting
on his otherwise spotless sink,
under his organized cabinet,
in his perfectly
put together apartment.

It was odd. Out of place.

When was the last time
I’d seen a dime?

A lost remnant from
soda machines,
small shops,
farmer’s markets,
fall festivals
with warm
fried foods.

I picked it up,
noticed it was
from 1983,
a year I wouldn’t recall.

He was undressing
next to his bed,
looking half-awake,
one and a half sheets to the wind.

Kind of weird, don’t you think?
I say about the dime.

You just forgot, he declared,
that you put it there.

I didn’t forget, I repeated
every time he told me I had.
I sat down on the edge
of the bed, sinking
with the weight of it all.

Why would he
think I would forget?

I sat, deep in thought,
reliving my moves earlier,
pre-scandal, pre-dime.
I wouldn’t find a dime
and place it on a sink.

Would I?

For a variety of small reasons
I reasoned I would not.

On heads, I’d have kept it for luck.
I would have left
the dime alone on tails.

I would have asked
the first time
about the dime,
about its origins,
its past,
its secrets.

I don’t think you believe me,

I stated after whirling
through my internal logic.

But it’s really not a big deal, he replied,
people do things and forget.
I didn’t put the dime there.

This was now my mantra,
as I got into bed.
I repeated it in my head
and soon he was asleep.

I stayed focused
on what I know
is true, firm reality
starting to jiggle
like gelatin.

I didn’t put the dime there
and I repeated that to myself
as I closed my eyes,
like counting sheep
that wouldn’t stay
inside my conviction,
jumping over the fence,

one two three.

I didn’t
put the dime there,
four five six.
I don’t think
I put the dime there.

Did I?

I fall asleep
as another reality
is stitched
erasing any firm version
of what is, what isn’t,
the bathroom sink
now a booth
and my toothbrush
a small bag of popcorn,
the toilet
a bubblegum machine,

and me? Well, clearly
I must have forgotten
that I placed it on the sink.
Ever changing reality
as malleable as a memory,
and so I adapt
every time a dime
drops into my world.


jenna Brown is an artist, designer, and writer based in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys writing to clear her mind. Her favorite place to write is sitting on a thrift store blanket, while overlooking the ocean.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had nine one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 300 online and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS) two Pollock-Krasner grants, two Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. in 2017 & 2018 he received the Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA artist-in-residence grant.