Thyme is fifteen, an A student and three months' pregnant. Erry is eighteen, the opposite of book smart and lives with his wife, Thyme, in the bedroom of her parents' Harlem apartment. Shaneequa is fifteen, Thyme's best friend, mother of an infant and has picked up the habit during her current pregnancy of eating dirt. Erry gets a job in construction, but his health slowly begins to deteriorate: occupational lead inhalation. Besides Thyme's obsessions with all the mechanics of the maturing fetus inside her and with the option of delivering in water, she has recently become fascinated with urban politics of the environment: why communities of color are consistently housed in the most hazardous areas. She is a data-gathering machine yet remains strangely oblivious to Erry's mounting illness�her research fixation suddenly, devastatingly brought home.