Six-C motherfucker—you have a way
of sucking all the oxygen out of a room.
Egyptians and Sumerians recognized you first,
Lavoisier gave you a place at the Table.
We frantically measure your parts per million,
but you don’t care either way.
Hot button hustler, poised for escape
at a bottle-popping party, you don’t look back,
leaving everything flat. Can you be captured, traded,
taxed, sequestered? Your miscellanea—
those dipoles of soft and hard, allotropes of graphite and
diamond, ready to bond—ready for Controversy.
Recombinant shape-shifter, capable of creating nearly
10 million compounds, of course you’re unfazed
by our atmospheric pressure. With no melting point,
reaction-resister, stoic solid—Is summer
your season? Squatting in peat, loitering in petraoleum,
skulking in methane clathrates, cached in coal.
You really know how to heat things up.
Cara Murray‘s poetry is included in the collection “Systemic Crises of Global Climate Change: Intersections of race, class and gender” (Routledge, 2016) and the anthology “Only Light Can Do That” (PEN Center USA, 2016). Her work also has appeared in Obra/Artifact, Otoliths, Platte Valley Review, and shufPoetry.
Lee Chilcote lives in a 1900 Victorian in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife, Katherine, and their three children. He has worked as a community organizer, real estate developer, writer and teacher. He once read his poetry at the Slovenian National Benefit Society Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, where they served steins of beer and sausages and people danced to a polka band. He holds degrees from Oxford University and Cleveland State University and his writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Next City, and numerous literary journals. In 2016, Finishing Line Press published his chapbook of poems, The Shape of Home. He is cofounder and director of Literary Cleveland. leechilcote.com /litcleveland.org