Nathanael O’ Reilly

Dark Angel

The waitress balances
plates on her wrist

glides between tables
bar and kitchen

dressed in black
jokes with customers

earns her wages
like a prima ballerina

the dark angel at my table
calls out orders and farewells

Antonio! Due caffe! Prego
Bianco Toscana

Aqua naturale, grazie
Cappuccino, per favore

Ciao grazie, signora
Ciao ciao, domani



Summer Rain


arrives before sunset

lowers the temperature

pours from the eaves

fills the water feature

spears into the dirt

pools in the flower beds

makes green grass glow

soaks outdoor furniture

runs down the driveway

drums on the window

drowns out the radio

turns grey fences brown

washes gutters clean

glistens like quartz

feature photograph Rachel Neville Photography

Nathanael O’ Reilly

Nathanael O’Reilly is an Irish-Australian residing in Texas. His books include (Un)belonging (Recent Work Press, 2020); Preparations for Departure (UWAP, 2017), named a Book of the Year in Australian Book Review; Cult (Ginninderra Press, 2016); Distance (Ginninderra Press, 2015); Suburban Exile (Picaro Press, 2011); and Symptoms of Homesickness (Picaro Press, 2010). More than 200 of his poems have appeared in journals and anthologies published in twelve countries, including Antipodes, Anthropocene, Australian Love Poems, Backstory, Cordite, fourW, FourXFour, Headstuff, Marathon, Mascara, Postcolonial Text, Skylight 47, Snorkel, Tincture, Transnational Literature, Westerly and The Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2017. He is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at The University of Texas at Arlington.

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