One song stops outside the warehouse door.
Aman comes in. He is black,
in a suit of cracked silver,
his mask lowered and hanging about his neck.
He works behind the yellow danger signs:
Warning. Asbestos Dust. Authorized Personnel.
But the man tells me that it makes
For the dust isn't partial; it hovers, waits
for the supple cartilage in the nostrils,
the fine hairs;
it settles in the porches of the human ear,
insinuates itself behind the fingernails
where the moon fades in their dark skins.
It sinks down with the breath
and on the staff of the chromosomes
finishes their song.
Wendy Salinger, 1980