— Jerry Dyer
I’ve been alive for exactly
This is very accurate, including
even the thirteen leap-days
that I have been forced to endure.
I’ve entered my 221st.
I’m long past my axial age,
way past the first mud of spring,
more than a kite-string’s length
beyond summer, deep into leafless Fall. The morning sun is pulled out
of the bag of night like a scrabble-tile.
There are only twenty-six
possible shapes to the day,
not counting the two blanks that
give us the chance to make something new
out of what we have.
Then again, there are only 23
pairs of human chromosomes,
our stencils, shaped and cut out
by our forebears or our race,
giving us all the instructions
that our living gets to use.
This is approximately the number
of human genes, which sets us squarely
between the chicken and the grape.