I smell wildfire and smoked
wings as I venture through haze, its murky
hand reaching down to sting
my lungs and scratch my eyes.  It has already suffocated
the sun, its claws digging into her golden throat until she could only sputter
dull droplets that could barely penetrate the soot,
which veils what should be a sunny summer evening.  The smog lurks
atop roofs, less like morning fog that glides over dewy glens, 
more like sheer curtains that entomb hospital beds, sallow
fabric just thick enough to mask your grandma’s bleached 
skin, too thin to hide her gaunt cheeks.  
Although smoke prowls
above our heads, whispering tales of melted flesh, we ignore
the phantom and its prophecies
and stare straight ahead at shopping carts overflowing with frivolous

I look down at the bin of watermelons tucked just past the sliding glass door.  
I dig through the stack until I find one whose skin is as green as Ontario’s cedars
last spring, as green as my backyard’s maples to distract
myself from the smog overhead, its promises of woes
to come.  The further I walk into fluorescent aisles, the more I forget
what I left behind.  

In fact, I don’t remember why I wrote this poem in the first place.