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Beside the X

by Alan Harris
Today I opened
a checking account,
helped by a friendly
banker lady who
pointed to all the X's.

She took my driver's
license and called
a phone number
to make sure
people think
I'm honest.

After the bank finally
permitted me to let it
profit from my money,
I walked outdoors
with only lockbox keys
and deposit slip as
evidence of worth.

How many bank accounts
will I end up having?
Is this one the last?
(I get like this sometimes.)

After I'm finished,
will someone empty
the lockbox for me?
Turn in both keys?

Will a bank clerk
close my account
efficiently while
planning dinner?

Will the friendly
banker lady be
pointing to X's
for someone new?

Will anyone know
what's beside my X
as it goes through
the shredder?

From the book Just Below Now (2000)

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