Iron stops all things:
fairies and gnomes,
highwaymen and redcoats,
terrorists and soldiers —
but most of all stars
blanketing the wide heavens.
Hesiod never knew all things
come from iron, so he placed it
after the heroes who pounded
bronze pathways to Elysium.
Without iron, primordial
stars would not have faltered,
gravitational equilibrium undone,
long before we came — or so some say.
Before Prometheus stole fire,
he coaxed iron out from bulging
stars’ hot cores, keeping the balance
until the poisonous metal won.
The resultant explosions rocked Heaven.
Ever since, life has bloomed and withered
on millions of sun-kissed worlds.
Fires have burned on hot savanna
nights and in rainforest havens.
All the while, iron multiplies.
One day, it will smother all light,
even cosmic pinballs chancing
on voiceless singularities.
Prometheus waits there,
contemplating cosmic rebirth
in black holes and neutron stars,
decaying protons and newborn photons,
brown dwarfs and cold planets.
The Moira beside him takes forged
scissors in her withered hands,
running her fingers across numberless
seconds the universe has owned.
Under his watch, she snips.
Iron stops all things.

[Kaye Boesme majored in English at Smith College. Her poetry has appeared in With Painted Words and AlienSkin. At her home in the Finger Lakes region, Bohémier blogs at Kallisti and conjugates verbs in nonexistent languages.]


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