The Wealth of Nations
At the gas station on 34th Street, a man with a shopping cart full of cans sells a Korean-English dictionary boxed set for $20, or whatever you’ve got. A little boy on a bike darts among the parked cars asking every window, “You got 89 cents? You got 89 cents?” The still-plentiful gas courses quick as air through the nozzles, profits billowing like thunderheads. Silver jets pass high overhead, a thin gleam like fish bones picked clean. Next door, four roofers toss down slabs of old shingles. And a block away, written in pink and yellow chalk on the sidewalk, a guide to a curbside garden:
scarlet runner beans
When I read my neighbor’s writing here between the rumble of cars and the cluttered porches, a new part of me aches, coming to life. There are ways to see the city. The way the gas pump circles back to zero. The way the seedpods split and spill. The way the roofers nail down shingles, knowing they can’t afford the house.