Babies have more red marrow,
adults more yellow,
but in cases of severe blood loss,
the body can change its yellow to red
which makes new blood cells.
Conditionality is unconditional,
like brains being plastic after all,
humans one example of plastic art,
all tape and welding, sponge,
and junk, glass and dried worms.
We sidle up next to each other
all bristle and solace, soliciting
a reaction—each the center of
our own art installation—our
bones mellowing from red to yellow,
and wanting to crack
each other open, suck each other
dry. Is this all? Bones like planets
drawn by music and gravity,
the hum of those cells being born
or dying, brains seemingly set
inside themselves, but really just waiting
for some new event, catastrophe,
a singularity weighty as a thick, fatty stew?
We’re in trouble;
a hungry accident is about to happen,
and what science there is might turn
out to be what saves us from us,
a hot bowl held in both hands
the only way to mark time.
Laura McCullough’s recent books of poetry include Speech Acts, Black Lawrence Press, as well as a recent chapbook, Women and Other Hostages, Amsterdam Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, Pank, Iron Horse Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Diode, and other journals. She is editing an anthology of essays by poets on the work of Stephen Dunn. She is the founder and editor in chief of Mead: the Magazine of Literature and Libations.