Cellular

Lizzie Harris

There’s no law that says
life needs to get more complicated.
In fact, it’s difficult to grow big.
Humanity has always been improbable,

but occurred when two single cells
floated—perhaps they wanted
each other?—into one. Even a host
can learn to love a leech. This is molecular:

One thing cares for another, in a way
it could never care for itself. Everything
you know was born from this sacrifice. Red-
woods stretched, shellfish bristled the floor.

Life, in even the simplest form, has always
been a matter of finding the energy.
 

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Ghosts That Need Reminding

Through shattered glass and sheeted furniture, chicken
wire and piled dishes, sheared-off doors stacked five to a
wall, you're walking like cripples. Toward a dirty window,
obstructed by stacks of chairs.

And once you move them, one by one, palm circles through
the grime and cup your hands round your faces, finally able
to see through—

Charged night. Sheet-flashes of green, threaded with sparks,
the pale orange pan of the moon—

Finally, what turns the wheel: the moon ghosting a hole
through a rainbow, the rainbow's rage to efface the moon,
which the moon sails through slow as a ship, in the shape of
cross-legged Buddha...

Lotus-folded, a figurine. The kind you once found in the
Chinatown markets, for a dollar and a dime—

Saying you're dying, you're dead. You can withdraw from this
orbit of mirrors.