The Conjugation of the Paramecium
This has nothing to do with propagating The species is continued as so many are (among the smaller creatures) by fission (and this species is very small next in order to the amoeba, the beginning one) The paramecium achieves, then, immortality by dividing But when the paramecium desires renewal strength another joy this is what the paramecium does: The paramecium lies down beside another paramecium Slowly inexplicably the exchange takes place in which some bits of the nucleus of each are exchanged for some bits of the nucleus of the other This is called the conjugation of the paramecium.
From The Speed of Darkness by Muriel Rukeyser, published by W.W. Norton. Copyright © 1968 Muriel Rukeyser. Used with permission.