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The first cell felt no call to divide.

Fed on abundant salts and sun,

still thin, it simply spread,

rocking on water, clinging to stone,

a film of obliging strength.

Its endoplasmic reticulum

was a thing of incomparable curvaceous length;

its nucleus, Golgi apparatus, RNA

magnificent. With no incidence

of loneliness, inner conflict, or deceit,

no predator or prey,

it had little to do but thrive,

draw back from any sharp heat

or bitterness, and change its pastel

colors in a kind of song.

We are descendants of the second cell.

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

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.