Poetry is kind of money,
whose value depends on reserves.
It's not the paper it's written on
or its self-announced denomination.
But the bullion, sweated from the earth
and hidden, which preserves its worth.
Nobody knows how this works,
and how can it be? Why does something
stacked in some secrets bank or cabinet,
some miser's trove, far back, lambent.
and gloated over by its golem, make us
so solemnly convinced of the transaction
when Mandelstam says "gold", even