Advanced Biology


poem by Nancy Devine


Nephrons of pig kidney are as much universe
as A flat diminished sixth above Middle C
which is why, if it weren’t for the silly food and water,
you and I would never have to leave our house, the low
warbling rooms of our mouth where we reside beneath
delicate gray air that coats the ceiling with transparent
lace. Oh there is a colony of movement under arm,
treasures of uncertainty in how we comb our hair
that could hold us for all the days we have left.

In grade eleven at my school we dissected fetal pigs and
I had this crush on my dissection partner. I loved how
when we were at our desks, his behind mine, that
his knees found my hips lightly as our teacher reviewed
pharyngeal gill slits, tubular dorsal nerve chords.
At black counters, whatever we sliced open had everything,
each everything through which our fingers swam
like cells in the primordial slurry of our ancestry,
amniotic goo of all of us, knowing that the paradigm
that says infinitesimal is antithesis of infinity
is beyond the reach of whatever scalpel we choose.