content warning for cancer
Sounds like a species of coral,
or a flute carved from animal bone.
Not lesions on my father’s left lung,
sheath of hard plaque tumors,
flesh trophies from his labors.
Fixed boiler pipes rife with asbestos,
installed tiles of this fireproof mineral
in housing projects now crumbling.
Worked decades as a one-man show
with a truck of tools & a flimsy mask
barely filtering drywall & joint compound
shot through with tremolite filaments.
Millimeter fibers latticed his lungs,
amassed cells in crazed refrain,
rinds of sharp grit binding his breath.
Dust clouds followed him home.
I costumed myself in his work clothes.
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