Saturday, July 28, 2012

Breathing Stats, Olympics


            Breathing Stats, Olympics

Some sour puss in the British
government, a rotting apple
chucked out perhaps
from the kitchen at Number 10,
Downing Street, has released
reports about ozone concentrates
over southern England
to coincide with the first salvos
of the Olympic Games.

When the world is staring
at British-style nurses dancing
at the Opening Ceremony,  
we read that athletes
will have trouble breathing,
that excess of nitrogen
dioxide and other pollutants—
far more, curiously,
than in Beijing which

stopped nearby industry
for the Games’ duration,
an option unavailable
to the free capitalist--
along with the expected
heat wave, will cause
asthma attacks and
hardly a world record.
Just imagine

the Olympics to come
over the rest of time,
wheezing and coughing
before sputtering
out of starting blocks.
Now, I understand
you would rather I stop
writing and just watch
the athletics, but as we wait

also for our party conventions
every four years, I ask
you fellow Americans
and democrats, and all
other readers through
the free internet, shall
we make believe, or deliver
a few, hard to smoke,
certainly inconvenient truths?

            Indran Amirthanayagam, July 28, 2012

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