It’s a late Friday afternoon. The sky
is making that colossal pink gesture
that often precedes the dark.
The car in front of them finally pulls forward,
and the boy’s father feeds the zipped bag of money
to the open mouth of the building.
From behind the glass, the woman speaks
into a long, thin microphone. She’s so close,
if it weren’t for the glass, she could lean over
and touch the roof of the car.
“This will only take a moment,” she says,
Then, as if she’d disappeared entirely
from their view, she licks her thumb
and begins, without mercy, to count the bills.
Carrie Fountain’s poems appear in recent issues of 32 Poems Magazine, Crazyhorse, AGNI, The Cream City Review, and Southwestern American Literature. She was a fellow at University of Texas’s Michener Center for Writers. Her first collection, Burn Lake (Penguin, 2010), was selected by poet Natasha Trethewey as a winner of a 2009 National Poetry Series Award_._ (updated 6/2010)