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The following piece first appeared in print in Salvage #7: Towards the Proletarocene, our relaunch issue. Subscriptions to our twice-yearly print issue can be set up here. Issues are also available to buy individually here. Our poetry, fiction and art remains exclusive to the print edition, and our subscribers have exclusive access to some online content, including all audio content.
I. In a river valley, sirens’ wails reverberate. They hit a sheer rock face, the aluminum wall of an old factory, the steel beams of a bridge, then water.
Back when the mills were running, sirens mounted on water towers and smokestacks brought the women out onto their porches, the prayer in their eyes the same in Polish, Slovak, Arabic, Yiddish as they looked down to the steep-staired sidewalks, through trees and over roofs to the water: an accident at the mill? An explosion in the mine? Who? Please, God, not today.
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