2018 ODU-Poetry Society of Virginia-Academy of American Poets College Poetry Prize Undergraduate Honorable Mention
Appendixes burst and
bones break, while
cells multiply around the clock; and so does
DNA. This complex strand, carrying history and heritage, grows inside of
embryos; accented marks of hope.
Fibrils are like strands of hair in a ponytail, and
gall bladders are bundles of bile, like a messy bun.
Hands carry fingers which fit perfectly inside the
inner ear: keeping the peace, keeping you balanced.
Joints provide mediation between the bones.
Kidneys filter out waste and keep the things you need.
Legs are a blessing.
Nerve, because of it.
Ovaries remind me I can do the impossible, which makes my
pulse race behind my ears and reddens my collarbone. I can create life. I can destroy it.
Quadriceps are strong like bamboo stalks, from the many times I’ve refused to bow.
Ribs, a summary: bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. I am God.
Spines sway like opinions, and
tendons tear like paper with first and 32nd drafts.
Uteruses contract and expand, making room for tenants and then evicting them.
Ventricles run like faucets in December, so the pipes won’t freeze.
White blood cells are the guardians of biology, stopping the bad and keeping the good.
X chromosome, me.
Y chromosome, him. And lastly, the
zygomatic bone, the strongest bone: lifts smiles and bears the weight of frowns.