"WE ARE ONLY REAL TO THE EXTENT
THAT WE HAVE MONEY."

It's the third Wednesday of the month,
And the hot torrent of driveways laps

From the mineheads of happy lives,

These split-level garages filled to the lungs.
But he has his water bottle in a belt and behind him
like a quiver.

A garden of echinaceas flickers with goldfinches,
Its stalks held up as torches to burn him

Taking the day off and not paying for the beauty
That casts the shadow, that lights his face,

The apple cheeks that answer a ripe sport bra,
Atalanta's smile, scent trail, and earbuds hiss

As he listens too -- but for mailboxes to speak
Along the streets named for their builder's daughters,

Granting him wishes like Talking Fish.


James Reidel
JAMES REIDEL has published poems in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, Verse, The New Criterion, Ploughshares, Conjunctions, and other journals. His translations
of Thomas Bernhard and Ingeborg Bachmann have appeared in The Greensboro Review, Artful Dodge, Painted Bride Quarterly and Web Conjuctions. He is the author of Vanished Act: The Life and Art of Weldon Kees, which is scheduled for release next spring by the University of Nebraska Press.
TAR