Headline, 4-6-22

Hannah Marshall

For the first time, researchers find microplastics deep in

the lungs of living people—and that reminds me of the

first fleece jacket I owned, teal with snap buttons. There was

time enough, walking the yellow halls of school, where student

researchers watched mold grow in petri dishes, to

find bits of soda cap and nylon fibers on my tongue, a

microplastics constellation, a generation of packaged foods.

Deep stairwell corners where I shared lip gloss in kisses, notes written

in the margins of Vonnegut and Dickinson:

the young think what lasts is them, but it’s the plastic in our

lungs which will lie sprinkled about the bones

of all of us, this unwilled detritus, this

living petroleum. Our blood is Day-Glo bright. The

people we love speak sonnets out of littered throats.

(p. 4, The Hong Kong Review, Vol. III, No. 3)