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How I Was Born

I think I began like the pig’s heart

beating in its tray, or the anemic rats.

A protein mesh was my mother,

and the zipper teeth of my DNA

came from powdered sugarcane.

When I was just one hundred fifty cells,

they plucked one out and carried it off

for a stranger with defective marrow.

“This won’t hurt,” they said.

I filled the space in anyhow.

I grew, I got the trick of breathing,

fed from an IV.

Learned to drink from a bottle.

Who knows if my origins explain

my fear of needles, my cravings for salty food,

enclosed warm spaces, pale young men with leukemia.

Full grown, I often suck my thumb.

That way I know it’s mine.

from Debt to the Bone-Eating SnotflowerFind it in the library

Copyright © 2013 Sarah Lindsay
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Sarah Lindsay

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