Circle of Fifths 16–18

Kirsten Kaschock

I’m not heavy, my sister, but held down.
I gain nothing by hoarding grief. I slip.
Between art and ache, a third rail moans—it

sparks. This is my poem: lit with doubt, ig-
knighted. Ask yourself—Who obtains from loss?
Who profits?
If I leave this earth, its mass

lessens. And the lesson? Death travels thin.
Tesla slaved to liberate radiance
but the market gives nothing free passage.

All is tolled. We don’t share grief. We buy in.

Children, world-unfearful, love to just go.
To start a life in this dark—how? We stall.
Built that way, engines die. Obso-lessons.

A thing rusts. No matter what we siphon
off, self-deny, time is spoonsful of slick—
and life, ended, becomes petroleum.

To fuel each new age, we’ve juiced the fallen.
But it never existed—enough flor
or faun to grease our way. To feel quick, kids

’ll trip their species off. This will not slow.

Shrooms and maggots sprout from rot. It’s our lot.
Men fall from manmade heights. I’ll show you—throne
is also thrown. Too too solid the slog

off all cliffs—don’t fish for flight. All flesh: fall-
ing flesh. All cells lyse. Do you recall that
one bone-stripped April when world-weary poles

dropped their thin white slips upon the carpet?
Nude is skin, not fact. The burlesque catch—un-
fictioning is hatchwork. Shadow and egg.

No end ends. What emerges flies. Is flies.