“Molecular genetics and the use of mutants to probe wild-type gene function
rely on the wild-type being well characterized”
Arabidopsis: An Atlas of Morphology and Development
My first surrender was the need to be understood.
My first failure: domestication, an inheritance of kingdom.
I was too wet in the summer to yield saffron. I was too angry
to mom. Too demographic for rurality. Too middle class for truth.
When a U.S. soldier kills for sport we say pathology,
not pathogen—patriotic trauma is aftershock, not origin, not infectious.
Who species a virus? War is not just war but its interpretation.
Interpretation is not just a haunting of content but a history
of feeling. I mutated to be beautiful. Bleached dead hair cells,
stained pores fuchsia, blood rushed, botanical. A crown mimics
an interpretation of desire. How much did we dispossess
to be a thing worth having? Archive me in moods of absence:
a past tense of data, water cycle omission, a memory of salt.
Photograph of zaina alsous by Helen Pena-Smicker.