It’s not the empty windows or scorched walls,
not the chimney’s shift from ochre to green
as if a chemical mix had corroded skin;
not what happens if it wakes up, clears
its throat and blasts, leaving a fringe of brick
like lashes around an eye unable to close;
not a lizard longing for a raging past.

No, the focus of this scene is flat –
the Milky Way, a fire in the universe
seen through an idle building’s broken roof;
a memory of the outrageous burning
of stars, a twisting halo of glowing gas
surrounded by the shadow of melting iron,
furnace to furnace, unstoppable.


After “Something old, something new: Lithgow Blast Furnace and Milky Way”, photograph by Jay Evans, 2020


From Magma 84, Physics



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