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