If you have seen
the fine metallic filings
flying onto the fellow
who crimps copper
into flashing and fashions
pivot hinges from brass,
you have seen it.
This is not the late
Bronze Age.
There are no palace
economies, only
the economy of one man
milling metal to earn
the flimsy dollars
that keep him fed.
When you knock on his door
he quiets the grindstone
raises his polycarbonate visor
and greets you swathed
in a swarm of gold—
not war gold or altar gold
but the metalsmith’s
hard-won residue:
swarf.