What if you knew something was a poison and...you knew that the government knew the same something was a poison but adamantly denied that it was so. Would you be a terrorist if you put that certain something in the government officials' drinking water? Can one be a terrorist with a substance the government says is harmless? The Cr6 Terrorist is a complex imperative in an unconventional telling. The style of this writing is, if one considers its synthesis of physical structures (letters/words/paragraphs) with artistic license, an embarkation on the novel genre. Most importantly, The Cr6 Terrorist is an expose' on the industrial pollutant hexavalent chromium (Cr6 or CrVI) that literally tells its story from the inside...out.
She put her hand to his neck. It was on fire. The tingling began in the side of her head while her eyes read, “Environmental and Health Risks Associated with the Use of Processed Incinerator Bottom Ash in Road Construction.” Somehow, it suddenly made sense.
Dear Journal (or to whom it may concern),
The first time I saw him he looked like any other man, tall. Taller than me. I didn’t love him then but—soon after when—one night we were left to close his leather tanning shop. It was my summer-vacation-before-starting-college-job. He told me a story in those late hours that shrunk him to my size. Then. There. Amidst chemical smell and dead flesh I knew I could never love another.
“Genevieve!” He cried out from his hospital bed.
He could not lift his head. She knew. He would have sat straight up like a child piercing through bad-dream membranes.
She never left. She spit-bathed while he watched—when he was awake.
Sometimes she wondered what he was thinking when his eyes lingered on her nipples, whether it was her he saw or another lover he’d had. “It’s me, my love, Anne,” she’d coo, stroking graying patch-hair above his ear. His eyebrows.
She’d thought he smiled, “Thanks, God, for the imagination.”
She thought then kissed his lips, “Genevieve is coming, I promise.” She swore his eyes scolded.
“I was married. My daughter’s name was Genevieve.”
“Past tense,” Anne—too quickly.
“Yes, past. . .”
Gene looked at nothing. Anne knew she’d said the wrong thing the wrong way. That was her style, she’d learned, through lost friends, loves, family. She even cut the pizza menu up from the joint of her summer-before-thesummerbeforecollege-job and taped it to her mirror as a motto: “A person who speaks their mind must ride a fast horse.”
She’d learned it didn’t do good to apologize for the past passed but something possessed her vocal chords, “I’m sorry.”