Give me your weary-to-the-bone American Dream myth
and I’ll give you the cab driver in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

who says that he’s a secular Muslim, Ottoman Turkish,
and not the sort of man who spray-paints Allah Akbar

as imprimatur on the brick street beside the Paris dead.
But, instead, the sort blathering on about the iPhone 6s

with the feature where you press and hold the picture
for a sunroof-movie of crossing the Brooklyn Bridge

into Manhattan. He wants riders to hear him translate
the constellations of gang graffiti on the infrastructure,

as if all veterans of the barrel bombings in Syria speak
fluent Blood, this wicked-consecrated city a press-and-

hold Heaven. He brakes. Blares the horn. Says he owns
the 1977 Smokey & the Bandit Trans Am with the T-top

and the wing-splayed raptor decaled in gold on the hood.
Says it in a voice of guarding the pass so others can travel

beyond war, beyond battlefields and the carrion feeders
whose riotous deportment some know better than God.

Roy Bentley

ROY BENTLEY, finalist for the Miller Williams prize for his book Walking with Eve in the Loved City, is the author of seven books of poetry; including, most recently, American Loneliness from Lost Horse Press, who is bringing out a new & selected in 2020. He has published poetry in december, The Southern Review, New Letters, Crazyhorse, Shenandoah, Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle among others.’

Contributions by Roy Bentley