From how small a split will we supernova

by Dane Hamann —

when a constellation
of gears spins
and gnashes within us?

We are strange factories
of heat and light.
Sometimes nothing

seems as fragile
as the motions
of our machinery.

Listen to the howl
of our engines.
Listen for the click

of two cogs
not quite meeting.
Time shears us cleanly

but not every force
is as forgiving.
There are hidden points

of failure within us.
Each memory of you,
I’ve made by burning

a wavering match
in front of my teeth.
I wanted to be a vessel

for fire. I wanted
to be held by your
gravity, aflame

and dying like the sun.

Dane HamannDane Hamann works as an editor for a textbook publisher in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where he also serves as the poetry editor of TriQuarterly. His work has recently been published in Calamus Journal, Half Mystic, Wildness, and Water~Stone Review, among other places. He can be found at