An acrid slurry creeps into the soil inside the hog farm. It soaks downward and outward, under fences, into the rain-fattened streams. From there: the rivers. . . .

Ten miles away, a boy comes home from a swim in the lake and winces drinking his milk. The first of many cankers opens its cigarette-burn between tongue and cheek.

We keep living longer, but our food lacks flavor. Our hearts flop in our chests like deformed frogs.

The President dies but continues in office.

Forgetting dreams is now habitual.

We’ve taken to wearing glasses that automatically darken, just to endure the sting of claritas.

The ozone layer thins. Days intensify. Winters strike a compromise with summers. And an acrid brightness creeps through the skin, enters the bloodstream. From there: the heart. . . .

Claritas! Your bitter truths assault us wherever we turn.


(first published in Luna)