A Billion Billion

In the dish, a dozen embryos   
are floating with the stars  
like Kubrick's wide-eyed baby;
it's just them and everything,
little white holes bursting through 
far away, a light-year's distance.  

We keep them spaced by cm's
to avoid contamination.
They float alone and fetal
and although dying, curl even tighter 
when I touch them with latex fingers 
they spiral away from me like galaxies.

I call this one Jeff -- he's purple and drips
as I pick him out with a piece of wax paper.
The second equation calls for blood, 
so Jeff goes in the blender, and fictitious forces
spread his heavy cells from small.     
Lymphocytes are thick like custard 
on the outer edge of the centrifuge.

At the bottom of the test tube
nebulas of bone, brain, heart
swirl in the vacuum
of his one-month body, 
and pouring out the waste, I dream
of every element that was in him
exploding once from stars
that terminated somewhere 
a billion billion miles away.

Joe Hickey