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Ode to my DNA, by Chelsea Collonge

Present in every living thing
You direct my growth from cell to breath
Too small for radar
your words encode my body
my tangible presence
You connect me with all life
bonobo chimpanzee to California poppy
yet make me unique
wheat-colored hair
swollen joints
Oh spiral fishing line
you connect my parents
to their maybe-grandchildren
Lie snug in my egg cell
in the pink pillow of my womb
All this wonder wound tight
in your bouncy spring

I fear for you
bringer of order yet so mutable
and like radiation, invisible
Another Chernobyl
bunker busting nukes
or even the cell phone in my pocket
could scramble you wisdom
make my babies born with open skulls
or heart defects like the kids of Belarus
Seaborg invented it here on Berkeley campus
manufactured to kill enemies, it can extinct whole species
with its gamma-attack on the genetic code of life
You created us DNA
Don't let us destroy you
Encode new proteins
for a brain that thinks ahead
a heart that respects life
Help us evolve

By Chelsea Collonge