Some Recombinatory Letters

You are likely a chimera
too : : There was the woman who
donated blood : A and O cells
bumping in the tube : a twin
abiding inside her : : Or consider
failed maternity tests when
swabbed DNA doesn’t match
the egg-genes : who’s kin : :
Mothers commit matter
to you : and you to them : forever
Plus ninety percent of your cells
are not human but microbial : :
Where does this leave
narcissists : monsters of ego
or sovereign teens : : Not selfless
quite : but less themselves
than the handsome thing
deviling the mirror
would have them believe : less
competent to speak : : How
code a communication
when a voice is a congregation

Lesley Wheeler’s collections include Radioland, The Receptionist and Other Tales, Heterotopia, and Heathen. Recent poems and essays appear in Gettysburg Review, Tahoma Literary Review, and Poetry, and she blogs about poetry at “The Cave, The Hive” ( Wheeler is the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.