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As he puffed on an old cigarette, he grabbed a pile of plastic, paper and wood thrown in front of his shack and stated a fire so he could cook something for his children to eat.

The thick and toxic black smoke from the burning plastic made me cough.

He laughed.

I coughed more. My lungs fought for clean oxygen.

He stopped laughing and stared at me.

No words were needed.

Morning, Smokie Mountain slums, Manila.