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"Ode to Rosalind Franklin", "Origin", and "Head Lines" by Lily Rose Kosmicki

Ode to Rosalind Franklin

I have three letters D, N and A

I believe in them

but there is more

than flat symbol

acronyms and chemicals

there was more to life

I was more of life

I was both atoms and window eaves

I was both pattern and matrix

but I was more sill than cell

more fascicle than fascia

I believe in particles colliding

strains, mosaics, spirals

It can be like a mother hamster

eating its own small pink babies

I believe science

has some sums,

and a little of the authority

that wrests in truth

but you can’t begin explanation

hypothesis, method

without words

And are words true?

We make ourselves with them

despite not anything


I begin in the cervical atlas

(when it’s all ending)

my selves assemble involuntarily

days were splitting

merging, reforming like cells

multiplying to malignancy

shedding off death skin

the alphabet biology began

my next words made a little girl

buskers snatched and dragged her

to a dragon tail swinging, a crowd looked on

as she screamed, I am in the third

womb world, the womb swimming

words are red, read again

misspelled, immersed in water

the headwaters of time

time was made of swimming tests

floating through her grandmother's house

the rafters filled with cartoon faces

flooded to the brim

who are we, these little girls? the cervical

axis, sequences made

rearranged around her mirror

twin, someone else lives in her books now

(but sunflowers are still in the alley)

Head Lines

I spend my time

sewing word order into

salad days and circling turns

of phrase in already read

yellowed newspapers

in the third womb I learned to read

black, white, red above the fold

the tempo of the once new

news is forgotten daily

my next-door neighbor died

after I slept walked to his front door

he was reading a newspaper

every time I saw him

the markings embedded on my face:

who, what, when, where,

and why

Lily Rose Kosmicki is a person, beekeeper, and librarian at the public library and by night she is a collector of dreams. Her zine Dream Zine won a Broken Pencil Zine Award for Best Art Zine 2018. Her work appears in The Raw Art Review, Bombay Gin, Interim, Seisma Magazine, and elsewhere. Her chapbook The Eyelash Atlas is forthcoming from Francis House.


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