“Everything here is a shadow of something else — like a song”                
     -from “Nausicaa” by Frank X. Gaspar

All day, a haze hangs over the eastern half of the U.S. Even in this cool June week,
the air quality index is in the hazardous range. Wildfire smoke from Nova Scotia drifts
its gray film, making me clean my glasses as if lotion constantly smears the lenses.
Warned not to exert ourselves outdoors and close windows if we don’t have central air.
My mother says she’s never heard of anything like this before—and, at 96, she’s seen more than most. Apocalypse, the Greek for unveiling. Masked, as I walk, my throat burns.

                                            Strike minor chords. The fireball sun torches the horizon.