for East Palestine, OH
driving past the new super-fund site, I note the signage—
Pardon Our Dust, Under Review, Coming Soon, DO NOT ENTER—
we are disaster areas, one and all. every single one, zoned,
graded, built-up for Grand Openings, then ignored for a time.
former habitats, left to business-as-usual, steeping, frothing,
producing neurotoxins and goods, pretty smiles and handshakes.
economy-sized ruin, packaged and marked for bulk-sale, only
to fall off the back of a truck, onto the freeway, straight into drains,
past the blood-brain barrier, and into the arteries of the future.
look, a pump-house with a hose that feeds right into the stream.
a middle-man drowned in that pipe, I read they had to cut him out.
it’s creating new species, and a permanent stench a few towns over,
but not here. here, it amounts to nothing more than open-window
cross-breezes, passing over napping passengers, sleepy commuters,
slumbering consequences—everything on its way to something else.
next week, someone will complain. in two , someone beloved will die.
in six months, a class-action suit, more empty threats to a bottom line.
in a year, the government will throw money into the air, with confetti,
and brochures of press-released promises that, Soon, All Will Be Clean.
yesterday, fifty-thousand kids developed something rare and untreatable.
tomorrow, all will be silent, and everyone will sleep without dreams.