I spread my hand against the cold surface of the window as I watch
him offer the first bill to the flames. I can see crowd chanting. Hear them
faintly. The focus has risen in most of their eyes.
Burn Your Money
He moves his arms and they
Burn Your Money!
He holds up his offering and
offers himself. The red bath is cold and old and he tucks himself fetus
shaped below the surface of the liquid.
A woman squats before the fire and
offers another bill. Another man burns a cheque. Faces fight to stay composed as his body breaks the surface and
he gulps for air.
What he does not breathe is
offered to the flames. In the place where it was once guarded by guns, money
turns to smoke. The tellers are long gone,
we withdraw poetry from the bank machine
and the lithe and shimmering shaman wraps himself in a towel. As the crowd
loosens and breaks away the old Royal Bank is different. It is ours now.
Later we walk home charged
by the camaraderie of ritual and across the ocean the Asian stock market
has opened and begun to drop. In the next two days the European and Western markets
respond similarly. Within weeks several Asian banks close their doors and
fifty billion US dollars changes hands to prevent the cashing-in of Asian
What is forged can be melted when we offer ashes to the wind.