The blind white pinwheel turns in the wind, turns
the shaft that turns the interlocking gears
by which motion becomes mechanical power
and a stream of air, the current that keeps
the city sizzling with lights, like birthday cake
ablaze. Our appetite for energy knows no
bottom. Yet, we dream the dream of power
unsullied, as if it could be clean, we
could be clean, like breatharians who subtract
from dinner plates first bone, then leaf and seed
until blank china stares back, a white radiance.
What shame this toothed turbine eats bats like air,
then wipes, with euphuistic grace, its maw,
of fur picked clean, as if it were no sin.
Derek N. Otsuji lives and writes on the southern shore of Oahu. He is the author of The Kitchen of Small Hours, winner of the 2021 Crab Orchard Review Poetry Series Open Competition. His poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Rattle, Pleiades, Sycamore Review, and The Threepenny Review.