They come for candy floss fluffing from foiled waterpipes—humans in suits and helmets, like they’re astronauts & I’m the moon, wombing my room with plastic and a sign: hazmat. A sweet name, skipping. Dinnertime! The men take the fluff, the sign, & Hazmat off in their truck pregnant with incident control. I forget to swallow two, three days in a row my row of sweet pink tabs till I see a mom remember on TV her girl lost to a clot incidented by the candy pill. Hazmat’s eyes glow pink, lean right. Hazmat dreams with knives, breathes over. Hazmat, my first and fifth. Come, solutions of centuries: apples, bathtubs, magic wells. Breakdowns. Recalls. This time the cleaners come with grins.
April Yee is a National Book Critics Circle Emerging Critics Fellow and the University of East Anglia’s Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholar. She reported in more than a dozen countries before moving to the UK, where she serves on University of the Arts London’s Refugee Journalism Project and tweets at @aprilyee.