Living Things

by Danielle Fong

analogies, once preserved as mere notes, find harmony as poetry


as living entities

as where no one cell holds the soul of a person
no one person, incarnate
may form all essence of a community
nor live throughout its lifetime
wholly part

as one cell expires
one soul retires
others, some new, fill their place

generations cycle
yet something remains
an living entity unto itself
though it may be true
that some people or ideas
resemble vital organs

the liver, to filter
the stomach, to process
the lung, to supply
the mind, to direct
the heart, to power

too often
perfectly good hearts
from one being to another
from one community to another
raise immune reactions
edicts like allergens
mobs like histamines

without disarmament
no transplant succeeds
no hire, restructuring, or revolution carried through
without somehow disabling
or surviving
societal antibodies

for some, it seems
while becoming part of a great organization
or movement
or organism
they enter through digestive tracts
to supply the raw stuff
the best
carbon, iron, calcium, oxygen
skills, goals, ideas, selves
are prepared
and cooked
and made, finally, into a part of something new
to fit some other master plan
a genetic blueprint
an ideology
a mission
a politic

for some
no greatness of which they are part
could come to redefine them
their raw stuff
the parts comprising
can find no better molecule
no further local minima
no structure more solid
between surrounding stomach walls
they are indigestible

or too delicate
too beautiful
too unique
to be eaten

their soul to realize
as part only whole
of something profound,
believed in
or as the kernel of a gem
of another body
of an essence of its own
starting anew