The first time I visited a DNA testing website

23 and me 
Here’s an idea: 
a little bit of my spit will determine 
what language I could be speaking, 
what food I should be eating, 
what box I will be ticking. 
I have:
Borders pre-coded into my skin, I have passports
tattooed into the marrow of my bones, 
I have ancestral whispers twisted into the drumbeat of my heart, 
stories and smells and sounds
passed down in skin cells, from warriors
whose bodies are buried in jungles. 
I can fill a test-tube with chemical compounds, 
and mould my flesh into castles without windows for you sir, 
I can send the neurotic, joyful chaos that is ME
to a group of strangers. And pretend 
I’m not afraid. 
And they will map out the hieroglyphs of my history with pins and 
threads made of black wool, 
that stretch from ocean, to mountain, to river. 
They will rewrite the stories I have 
buried deep into the pit of my belly, 
until I am gutted like a fish with bulging eyes, 
I have, 
no windpipe, 
left to explain to people, 
all the percentages assigned to body parts- see – 
my left leg is from hereand my shoulder, 
it’s from over there
like a butchers table I will prostrate myself and dissect 
where I’m 
free range and where I’m organic, 
which parts are mass produced and 
what of me is inedible. 
I will 
regurgitate the deaths, the births, the weddings, 
the celebrations I missed because, 
I’ve been trapped here, in the middle, on an island. 
And they have moved on without us. 
I will relearn the stories only half-told from my mother, 
repaint my canvasses until my colours
bleed together violently, 
so no one will ever ask again:
what are you?
Because I shall have the answers! 
Weaponised! Staticized!
and they will fix everything. 
they will fix everything. 
Just a little bit of spit, it seems, 
will pull me apart at the seams. 
So, I will swallow my own tongue, 
and before anyone sees, 
I will exit 23 and Me, 
and in six months,
Return and Repeat.
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