A stout man enters the inner chamber of the bank.
Afternoon light splits itself into a half light
as he fumbles for the bank card in his wallet.
He’s tired, and smells faintly stale.
Maybe he just got off work, needs a few bucks
For gas or beer or for tonight’s dinner,
pork chops and potatoes,
a meal his wife will surely to cook
as soon as he walks through the door.
His fingers tap the ATM keys. Then
there is this unexpected song,
a mouthful of air gathering
into a chorus of “No, No, No, No, No, No, No”
in synch with the machine’s rhythmic beeping.
He pauses; listens to his own breath come and go
as he tries to catch it, his funds Insufficient,
the question of capital asked and answered—
the money is somewhere yet nowhere.
It takes him a moment to remember where he is
and that he is not alone. He calls his wife
to have that uncomfortable conversation
about not having enough, about what to do next.
And for this you don’t have the words.