Dora Malech

Minerals, Mine

          In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which directs the Commission
          to issue rules requiring certain companies to disclose their use of conflict
          minerals if those minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production
          of a product” manufactured by those companies. Under the Act, those minerals
          include tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten.

                                                                                –U.S Securities and Exchange Commission

Tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold—

the empire’s not-so-new attire’s
a dead man walking contradiction

sheer as starlet’s ceremony
garb and red as the red carpet

flowing past her red-soled shoes,
a rivulet bisecting silver

screen, infusing plasma in our
darkened rooms beyond which sources

run unclear as that coy lady’s
age whose years elide untold—

tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold.

Invisible supply chain mail
returned to senseless sender site

unseen, all that we can’t touch
inside the screen in light of luxury

and lap of Lethe’s waters leaving
only tracers, trails, and ghosting

vision, devices’ divisive
origin stories all but obscured,

blood and sorrow, a row of hands
but not applause remains, remains

unrevealed (un rêve à LED)
ore mined out of mind or ore—

and here I pause to check missed calls,
to take a break (refrain—refraindre

from refringere—break) and watch
old news unfold in pickaxes, pixels,

tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold—

again, refrain, and break, again—

tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold.




The sun's the only one of us
with a direct flight into Eastern Iowa.

What for us would be trespass
across farmers' land, hopping fences
and trampling crops, is the sun's
business, easement, egress.

The sun fords the Mississippi
and forges glittering tribute
of its little tributaries,
dazzling the windshields
on I-80 to a flashing river too.

Sun's rise razes, threshes, harvests,
planes plains to gold plate,
folds the fields into bright batter.


Dora Malech's third book of poetry, Flourish, is forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon University Press, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications that include The New Yorker, Poetry, Tin House, and Best American Poetry.