Katherine Davis earned a Ph.D. specializing in American poetry from Duke University. Her poems have previously appeared in Weber, Stepping Stones, Wild Goose Review, and Convergence. After working as a writer and an editor around the U.S., she recently relocated to Alberta, Canada.
I am growing into my science,
Like a blind man moving forward
In a dust storm, chemical formula
For a fixed happiness, lab rat
Given anaesthetic before electrode
Or scalpel. On my wheel in a cage
I amaze the doctors who inject me
With toxins, my miracle fur sleek,
My fat disproving a hypothesis
Of waste. I am not a disease,
But a collection of pills, like pebbles
And seashells, like trees in an exotic
Forest, yellow capsule, blue diamond,
White oval, pink lozenge. Water magicks
Them into a beneficial reaction, banishes
Gloom, instills calm, a pond shuttered in
Fall leaves. I grow well through the intervention
Of guesswork and brainiacs, persistence
A function of being desperate to live.
No one fully understands desire nurtured
Through science, plankton under microscope,
Fantastical miniature, xylem and phloem,
A plant’s nervous system. I take a wafer
Under my tongue and swallow. Between
My synapses, a chill like a river, turquoise
Inkling, peace of stepping stones in a pool.
I am a test tube to cure the world, blossoming
Like rock crystal, genie bursting a bottle,
Frog spreadeagled to be cut under goggles,
Revelation of the most intimate mysteries.