asphalt in our sinuses,
sipping what we cannot
swallow. ghosts announce themselves:
the Tings, family of five.
youngest daughter likes watching
songbirds in her pleated skirt.
it’s not about pity, but some kind of
justice. parents do factory work, pipe thickets
to meet our needs until
the accident that is
no accident. it’s a feature, the inevitable
explosion when there are so many that stay intact
to pay for the lawsuit. the smoke powers
our lives, our lungs—how to choose one?
how to cast fault on the neighbors, sliced
and diced blocks on pavement with
sincerity, nothing more dangerous. to point fingers
at the designer, the engineer, the architect,
the people for living & breathing closed eyes, the sun
for stinging radiation. blame the ill
for malingering, blame the dead
for standing quiet
for not fading