Smoke screen 13 BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE For every hard-working father ever employed at HC&S, especially mine Was he a green, long sleeve jacket & god-fearing man? On the job, bloodshot. Marrying metal in his heavy gloves, bringing justice to his father, who was also a smoking man. No bathroom breaks, no helmets, no safe words. He whistled sugarcane through his neck, through his unventilated wife, his chronic black ash daughters. This is what a burn schedule looks like. And if believing in god was a respiratory issue, he was like his father. Marrying metal to make a family. At home he smoked before he slept. In the corner with the door ajar, cigarette poised like a first-born: well-behaved, rehearsed. Curtains drawn, bedrooms medicated. He was always burning into something. Part-dark, part-pupils. For my father, the night was best alone. When only he could see through the world and forgive it.