I whirl giddily in your phosphorus embrace,
Awaiting erasure, coupling, teet, and coil.

It’s so far across the cytoplasm—
I need your strong arm to steer me.
I enter the noon maw of your recombinase
And shut my eyes for the initiation.

You cross all cell boundaries
To effect devious rodent transformations.
But you are destined to create royal lines,
Anointed with collagen polymers.

We all bind to your dynastic ligand,
But leave handbraids scant legacy
—Might this palindrome be a dud—
To compose in its gamut a reset,
A handbreadth return.


Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) is a historically significant genetic engineering technique that vastly escalates the potential for altering human, animal, and plant life.


Andy Oram is a writer and editor in the computer field. Print publications where his writings have appeared include The Economist, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, and Vanguardia Dossier. He has lived in the Boston, Massachusetts area 50 years. His poems have appeared in more than 50 journals.