The masked people of Frick Park are wheeling their babies
into the beautiful sun of Pittsburgh, where Beechwood
is a log jam of cars, but the trails are long

enough to stay safe from the path of breathing,
from the new plague. Five minutes away from the memory
of emphysema, of Homestead’s coke dust,

air from a welder, grinding down stars. I never knew
that kind of sacrifice, but I remember
how my grandfather’s lungs crackled like a fire while he slept,

and my grandmother boiled mason jars downstairs,
filling the walls with the smoke of peppers and tomatoes
burning that sweetness down. Its thick smell, reaching

the second floor bedroom, where I stared out of her windows
envious of the Allegheny, of the slow barges splitting the river
in halves, drifting away as if they were going somewhere,
as if they could ever get away from this life.

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