January 2006 /Volume Seven / Issue One
Christopher Parks
Currency Through My Hands

Into the service station to get gas
and someone drives up in a beater
saying he needs money to fix the car.
A raised index finger delays the transaction.

I hand out a bottle found in the back seat.
The man, cheated, pops his hood
to continue the deal to the bitter end.
He is the kind of skinny that comes in stages.

This young pale girl of a boy
emerges from the passenger side.
A transvestite hooker eyeing customers-
She offers herself to a blue pick-up.

The cab of the truck is alive with haggling.
A moment later, when she reveals the goods
the hooker topples from the passenger side.
and kicks the ride as it pulls away.

Rage flies out in a gift of tongues.
The truck adds distance along with shame
Reverence disillusioned with the discrepancies
between illusion and the scheme.

A man in his fifties stumbles up
and unzips a pouch filled with needles.
Small bottles of insulin flash omniscient to the sun.
He tells me of illness and a need for cash.

I kneel again and emerge with over $1.20
in returnable bottles that I offer up.
I continue to pump my fuel while consternation
is born again to the satisfaction of comprise.

This trinity of commerce helped along their way
And not a single bit of currency through my hands.