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.