Duchampian incongruence among the pig fern,
a discarded tin zen-emptied of something.
Pithed husk, illegible label peeling off
a robot stripper, Helen of Alloy more lasting
than Babylonian brick or Grecian urn as colophon
to our late capitalist Atlantis.
Stannic-plated steel, more durable
than your aluminium cousins;
carbon, tin atoms forged in
the heart of a dying star, iron
from a meteorite, torn up from
earth where lain since the sun coalesced
something intriguing from its retinue
Half-burial here has spared it,
freed it from the karmic wheel
of endless recycling.
Gnomic ocular reckonings mosaic the still
mirror bright only slightly squashed
baroque elliptic cylinder (hauntingly in profile
like a kicked-in zygomatic bone) in creeping gamboge,
russet rust, cumbrous umber, and Martian nacarat
(rust never sleeps) where tin’s apotropaic
magic spottily failed, and foxing fawning
oxidation gnaws and nibbles like a decadence
through its atomic empire.