and for Henrietta Lacks
The riptide of self and you,
in immortal life is the feminine
body of night, and secrets
of what multiplies when eyes are shut
and the truth is hidden.
We have all lived you, Henrietta.
They have owned our bodies, crashed
our essence, mingled with the higher levels
of ourselves, the renewal of life
left behind, blood in the tributaries
and mouths erected in dams.
We are unaware of our strife, but
here is your river, the return
and your flow,
the principled production, the survival
consumption, the sensuality of sale.
What does one woman produce
with her body? The labor of the workhouses,
the children of the mills, the borders,
the mothers alone with
only their bodies.
Leave it behind now, life to
begin again. You are immortal—
the line of cells, the dominoes of progression
and the infinite falling of truth
again and again, just for you
not for my doctor, my scientist, elite professors
of the egoist and the risen minds.
You, from the feminine life—
consider your source.
Of what all your fingers have extracted from our bodies.
We will always live the immortal life.
We are Henrietta—the masters of our bodies,
the reproductive and infinite truth.