Image: Great Salt Lake from plane by David Herrera, licensed under CC 2.0.
“Miasma” began as a meditation on the environmental degradation of The Great Salt Lake area, which is near where I was born and raised. When I was a child, a Magnesium plant on the rim of the lake was the nation’s worst air polluter, responsible for over 90% of the chlorine emitted into the atmosphere. Surprisingly, during composition, many of these images of corrosion and pollution began to latch onto memories of my religious upbringing, especially the adverse psychological effects the religion had on my identity formation and mental health. I hope the rest of the poem speaks for itself.