‘ Tin’ first appeared in Tricia Dearborn's Autobiochemistry (UWAP, 2019).
I turn to pick up four empty cans, turn to place them on the narrow conveyor belt. The cans are steel, plated with tin. Pure tin, when deformed, makes a sound — the ‘tin cry’. It will do this over and over until it snaps. Another day, another line. I check the code on the top of each can. Reject the non-conformers and the dented, where tin’s crucial seal might be ruptured. Three times a day the machines grind to silence. While others seek coffee, sustenance, chat, I chain smoke in the toilet. Next year I’ll implode. My life’s shiny surface breached, revealing the old corrosion.
Feature image: Den Hartogh Ford Museum. Albert Wijnberg Olie-import, by Alf van Beem