Close and latch the windows tight. Catch your breath.
Eyes watery red. Curse the rasp and phlegm.
Baby’s born with a shadow on her lungs.
Horns honk. Streets are lined with painted signs. Protest.
But there’s no proof. Just anecdotes. Civil unrest.
That’s the smell of jobs and cash. Sulfur. Steam. Some dust.
Long John straightens his tie, signs another cheque.
The phone rings. Still no immediate threat.