Magazine article World Literature Today

Genesis

Magazine article World Literature Today

Genesis

Article excerpt

The first time I saw your father,

I stared back into the pool at your reflection

while he waded through,

the water moving in gentle circles away from us.

The first time, I thought it was the Nile

we'd dipped our heads into,

the water thick with primordial cells,

parthenogenesis producing near

identical beings: his skin, your chin,

the way your lips pull back to reveal teeth,

the slope of his nose.

I thought the water was playing tricks with the light,

obscuring the line at the horizon,

a ribbon of black and white DNA

shimmering like schools of fish.

I thought perhaps I'd confused which side

of the reflection you - or he - was on,

my heart sealed up in a tank instead,

with two inches of water and a ton of salt,

hallucinating in an imaginary womb,

looking for you - I'm sure of that:

I was looking for you -

his co-joined daughter,

my hermaphroditic lover. …

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