Jeannine Hally Gailey


Like a robot, she keeps dislocating joints,
must be recalibrated, adjusted, attuned carefully to weather conditions. 

The chemistry must be tested: more alkaline, more acid.
Lithium ions in the 7-Up. Cesium in the sunflowers. 

Unexplained fatigue, scan for system failures, sparked
by magnetic waves. Plans for extended warranties, spare parts

when one or another breaks down, prayers for protection from chaos.
Altered past recognition, we’re playing games with genomes, gambling

with genetics. Was I planted in a test tube, born in a sterile lab?
They all cried: It’s alive! Against all odds, the lightning bolt

charged the helpless heart, the iron lung and steel plates
aligned. Calcium, magnesium, nitrates, poisons and pollutants:

that’s what little girls are made of. Raised in a nuclear city,
under leaden skies, her wandering hands grasping the dirt,

as if to return, as if to say, this is where I belong