Joe’s on one knee on the riverbed; his fingers play in the brown foam that slugs downstream. “People are counting on me,” he says aloud, to himself. “Ten are the numbers. Not nine. Not Eleven. One above three; three above seven; and seven above twelve. Beth, Gimel, Daleth, Kaph, Pe, Resh, Tau.”
Up the concrete embankment stand the people who are counting on him. They are street people; they mumble and murmur to one another.