He has coaxed his skin to produce
a fluorescent protein, ingested
a friend’s poop in a D.I.Y.
fecal-matter transplant, and attempted
to deactivate one of his genes
so that he could grow bigger muscles.
Inside the box, I found an assortment
of lab tools—pipette tips, petri dishes,
disposable gloves—as well as several
vials containing E. coli and all I’d need
to rearrange its genome.
Ants that can’t smell, beagles that put on
superhero-like brawn, pigs that resist
swine fever, macaques that suffer from sleep
disorders, coffee beans that contain no
caffeine, salmon that don’t lay eggs, mice that
don’t get fat, and bacteria whose genes contain,
in code, Eadweard Muybridge’s famous series
of photographs showing a horse in motion.
We are as gods, but we have failed to get good at it.
We are Loki, killing the beautiful for fun.
We are Saturn, devouring our children.