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Posts Tagged ‘hormones’




Now I love biology—the how of
life, the what of cell, the physiology of why—
but I was so bored in ninth-grade biology class
when Bill Williams stood at the front of the room
with his rumpled hair and brown corduroy blazer,
chalk dust on his fingers, chalk dust in his drone,
chalk dust chafing on my teenage thoughts.
I wanted to know about boys. And kissing them.
I wanted to know what it would feel like
if that blonde across the room cornered me
against the wall with the anatomy posters
then let his fingers experiment
across my bare skin. But I was bored
by Mr. Williams’ boring biology, bored
by his black-and-white boring film strips,
bored by the clock that slowed on the wall.
Bored in that windowless room that smelled
of his coffee and formaldehyde.
Sometimes I’d write notes to friends.
I’m so bored, I’d write. As if boredom
were news worthy of sharing. As if biology
weren’t everything.

I would love to go back to that girl
in that junior high room fidgeting
in her metal chair at the shiny black lab table.
Even then, her own biology was riotous,
her estrogen surging, her pituitary gland raging,
her body and mind controlled by forces of nature
she couldn’t begin to understand.
I wouldn’t tell her to pay attention
to Bill Williams, no, but to be more curious
about her own feral hows and whats and whys—
the miracle of her own biology
untethering everything she thought
she knew about who she was
and her place in the biome,
all that dark curly hair springing up
in surprising places, her blood pitching
with a wild and red pulsing
that years later is still her best teacher.

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