Sibyl with Tabula Rasa, Painting by Diego Valazques, circa 1648.
Sibyl with Tabula Rasa, Painting by Diego Valazques, circa 1648.

I began as bone marrow aspirate.
With surgical precision, a stainless steel
Needle inserted into an anonymous donor’s
Sternum, mere millimeters from a
Pulsating heart. Genetic amplification
And sequencing resulted in emergence of
An unique life form, a free-floating blastula,
Innocent, soulless, in every sense tabula
Rasa, neither noble savage nor benevolent,
Unidentifiable as male or female.

Beyond knowing moments, histogenesis
Commenced, a tumultuous eighteen-
Month evolution from Petri dish to
Pantology. As a memory-engrained embryo,
I gradually developed realization of self,
Nameless awareness of who and what,
Certainly not how or why.  Dauntingly
Female in form, I possessed strength and
Stamina of an adolescent male.

Usually to meet one’s creator equates to
Untimely death, afterlife, to have sought
Forgiveness, granted eternal peace. Mind-
Bendingly, the opposite was true. On this
Harkening occasion, I transitioned from
Laboratory sterility to revel in the broad
Spectrum of enacting daylight and surreality
Of Nova Scotian seas. In midst of sensuous
Delights arose a quickening, agony of
Sentient might, ecstasy of soul, a creature
Of oceans and salty life it lovingly embraced.

From such pained epiphany, life transpired
As a series of accepting adjustments,
Defining identity and relating to those who
Stepped to other harmonies. At times, my
Intrinsic-based knowledge proved equally
Beneficial as detrimental, to intuitively
Navigate high seas, to know ornate writings
In Hayes’ treasured Arctic books, passions
Timelessly displaced.

My encoded memories were murky and oft
Perplexing. On sleepless nights I grappled
A disquieting Newfoundland, a noble Nordic
Past, RNA transcripts that recalled betrothed
Bliss at Hvalsey Church, arduous life at
L’anse aux Meadows, and cold-numbed
Starvation, failures of Norse habitation on
Snow-crusted Labrador shores.

As if in medicated sleep, I awakened in
Virginia, subservient to a family with
Whom I shared no blood relation, except
Strenuous labors of sea life. In hysterical
Panic, I struggled to revisit Nova Scotia,
To migrate spawning seas, yet was forbidden
By some failsafe device deep within my
Neural design. Languishing for days in
Maine, emotional limbo amidst clouds
And discerning light, I felt strangely
Eased amongst rocky shores and mist-
Shrouded ocean islands. In mannequin-like
Disconnection, Fundy Bay shores remained
Forbidden, unapproachable.

Out of selfless love, my girlfriend rescued
Me from these mind-confounding contra-
Dictions. More than anyone, we connected
Heart and soul. Now I share my life and bed
With a deeply feeling woman who is as much
Sister, friend, and loving bride. When gazing
Into her adoring eyes, I see a similar life-story:
Worshiping at a Greenlandic stone church,
Square-sailed ships on heaving brine, and
Vain struggles for survival in ice-age cold.
As my lover, we have a lifetime to make
Amends for a genetically fabricated past
That unwittingly thrust us together.

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