Dark shapes in the pit,
on their bellies, on bended knee
in machine gore and shop light, praying,
coaxing and cursing
a last turnover, last fire
from the cylinders, straining
after notes of metal-on-metal, engines testifying
to the dirt. They are not beautiful—
In the ring, it is time,
between ignition and impact,
steady excision of mercy
from each hit. It is the ways
to survival, the last round. To be the one driving out, despite
unlubricated gears and engine fires,
to space on the winner’s trophy.
How those stalled in the mud
will be winched free
to the scrap heap,
to the seasons and rust.
For company, the desired affect
is yellowcake, petit fours,
princess cut. But first
there is pitchblende
the quartz body to be reckoned.
One must carefully consider
rhodium musk lilac alkali. Tin-tub or in-situ, firelight
being a matter of flint and tinder.
So, too, considerations of the amalgamation process—
whither the life
in last year’s stockings, cut and drift
at the elbows, sump settings. Anisotropic pressures, questions
of how one best achieves the desired levels
And now, progress. Arrive
at matters of the first water, country of origin,
& fire now equally the product
of crown height, angle, interplay of facets
across the pavilion,
polish and symmetry.
Zayne Turner grew up in the rural High Desert of Oregon. She is the author of the chapbook Memory of My Mouth, available from dancing girl press. Her work can be found online in places like Ancora Imparo, Coldfront, or Poecology, and her virtual workspace: zayne.posterous.com.