From Two Vats of Absence
(For Cynthia Allen)
From one vat of absence to another…
But I am happiest, most soothed,
trying to shine light into the latter,
the future. New bodies for new worlds,
self-folding origami that knows
how to walk, swim, and degrade.
My mother had a little dog,
a titanium hip, some metal
wire, rods, plates in her back.
Some gold in her teeth.
I have a bit of amalgam in mine.
And what advancement
does biotechnology have
in store for me, suitor
of harrowing dystopian
and utopian worlds?
“Track. Stop. Track. Pull back.
Track. Move in. Enhance.
Track 45 Left. Center.
A unicorn. Stop.”
All of the frantic arm-waving
can’t obscure the fact of me.
Stein called it “necessity and relationship;”
Swift, “urgency and shame.”
A host of elemental parts
comprise each human
entity, traditionally carbon based.
When asked, ‘Does god exist?’
the dreamer in the laboratory
still says not yet. Some at work
calibrating millions of blood-cell sized
devices, nanobots, for cruising
the inside of bodies, fighting
against diseases, improving
our memory and cognitive abilities.
Take; swallow: His body
(again, the unicorn),
the doctor, the adventure down
the rabbit hole, the robot, the tiny
spaceship, the little dog on board.
Scott Hightower is the author of four books of poetry in the U.S. and Hontanares, a bi-lingual collection published in Spain. His third poetry collection, Part of the Bargain won the 2004 Hayden Carruth Award. Hightower’s translations from the Spanish have garnered him a prestigious Barnstone Translation Prize. He lives and works in Manhattan and sojourns in Madrid. Scotthightower.com