genetics/the cell/reproduction/asexual

When I glue the hybrid, its sound makes a memory like bones or like a pyre for all the oceans one can feel. Its zipper stills. It becomes a place. Accidently, it becomes a place. I ask its many heads to promise. I ask its many hands to act. I ask its many hearts to beat with a precision. Instead, we are lost in the courtyard of its scent. Instead, we are clad in its shady clothes. Instead, its body is a dome we allow to be our body, to knot the way our fingers knot, to drone the way our eyelids drone. Any question and its marrows lead astray. Any night comes and the not-yet invents us weapons; with these we light our way.


I dissolve the lifespan carefully with all the ruin of a crime scene, with all the cameras of the past tense aimed. I capture its image and the aftermath, a color like pebbles among ash or like one city’s blue tongue. The deathbeds have a certain weight. The final wish and then the eye’s ruin singing of deprivation. Not one of us flinches. Not one of us blinks. The plastic gloves come off. We imagine the moment is a breastplate and we must reach the heart.

Superstitions as the necessity. Dissolved.

breaking the atmosphere’s perimeter before burning a florescence of branches back to earth.

Inside the formaldehyde jar is a farmhouse dissolved to dust and the lives there like fibers joined, and the sun slowly setting as though someone were there to watch.



Jennifer Militello

JENNIFER MILITELLO is the author, most recently, of A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016) and Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013). New poems appear or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Nation, and Tin House. She teaches in the MFA program at New England College.

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