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1 poem
by Bronwen Brenner

Bronwen Brenner is a poet and writer from New York City. Her work appears in Maudlin House, Cosmonauts Avenue, Teen Vogue, The Journal of Art Criticism, and elsewhere. Her work has been recognized by The Poetry Society and Princeton University. She studies at Sarah Lawrence College.

I love my himalayan pink salt lamp

at 7-Eleven a woman in a white smock

and vintage earrings buys two bottles of coconut electrolit

and haribo smurfs

I eat like this too, gelatin excess

hydrating all at once with soluble salts

late in the day

after forgetting

there are nanoplastics in my cell walls

the way birds weave scraps of tinsel into their nests

 

my mother worked at style dot com while she was pregnant with me

her coworker wore a canary diamond ring

nobody used to want yellow diamonds so the companies called them canary

like canary in a coal mine

like the way people mine diamonds

blood diamonds

the coworker passive aggressively

left a catalogue of designer maternity clothes on her desk

as if to say do better

the coworker was also pregnant

she was married to a dupont chemical heir

twenty years later

in an existentialism lecture

I meet a girl who tells me she wants to work in fashion marketing

she was the dupont chemical fetus

the dupont fetus inside the coworker’s body

dupont is inside all of our bodies

in chemical form

as C8

 

C8

C8

C8

 

do you see it?

how it’s like a creepy smiley face?

 

salt from the

mine

diamond from the

mine

those ads for divorce lawyers

when diamonds aren’t forever

 

a flock of canaries

 

(•ө•)                 (•ө•)

            (•ө•)

 

a cute little sacrifice

“is a thing with feathers,” etc.

but where the pink salt is mined in pakistan—

not the himalayas

that’s just marketing

like canary diamonds—

there was once a lagoon where the salt is mined

with its horror movie evocation of what lurks beneath

the miners spend all day under ground

with a fine layer of salt dusting their hair

their eyelashes their skin their lungs

along with diesel exhaust and nitrous oxide

but the trucks are handpainted every such color

and adorned with tassels and bells

at least the ones they show in the videos

 

and the machines that cut

the pink salt spray water

to suppress dust clouds

and blades that cut diamonds

have diamonds sintered to the metal

diamond suicide

diamond cannibalism

diamond sacrifice

something about how only a diamond can break itself

which is also true of the worst of us

but flaws in diamonds are called inclusions

which I like because it’s just like

the flaw is equally included in the essence of the thing

to think you can pick and choose desirable qualities is a fantasy

 

they say himalayan pink salt lamps

interact with the moisture in the air

drawing in water molecules

evaporating them upon contact with the warmth

radiating from the surface of the salt as the bulb transfers its heat

which produces negative ions

negative ions of waterfalls and thunder storms

they produce that feeling

you know what I’m talking about

of being bright and clear

like a baby animal blinking open its eyes

or at least that’s what is said of

negative ions

atoms with an extra electron

electrolit

electrolytes

are minerals that conduct electricity

when dissolved in water

good for electrical neutrality in cells

which have nanoplastics in their walls

 

underground, in the dark mines,

there is dynamite

and there are explosions

and above ground

there are land mines

and there are explosions

 

and all these ancient formations

born of pressure water lava tectonic movements

are un-

earthed

I feel unearthed all the time

like when I remember

the C8 in my body

and the nanoplastics in my cell walls

 

to earth

to earth can be undone

 

I am trying to earth myself

let’s earth ourselves

I want you to earth me

h h h h h h

            ee e e   e ee aa   aa   rr tttt  hhhhhhhhhhhhh

hearth

that’s where the warmth comes from

the water is evaporating

a force field of invisible pearls

can you feel it?