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After creation,/the scientist prays, a poem by Andy McCall

After creation,
the scientist prays

I remember—
oxygen became so rare
that our fish collapsed
into islands
of themselves, sinking beneath
the surface and leaving
us alone, starving.
Little finned god,
the company paid me
to braid you
from two lineages
still found
in the shallows
of southern streams,
strains tolerant enough
to thrive and multiply
in our warm, stinking waters.
Bless me, who slid sperm
from one species into the egg
of another, who massaged
your hollow ball of tissue
into tail, jaw, teeth and scales.
Forgive me,
I interrupted
your cell cycle,
secretly rewrote
your gene sequence
so you would grow
to unnatural size.
Remember me, now, as
your fry crowd
the canals and channels,
swallowing everything
to make new flesh.
Have mercy,
when you have nothing
left to eat and lift your fins
onto land.

Andy McCall was raised in Missouri and now teaches at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He studies plants and insects and sometimes teaches more boring subjects like statistics. He enjoys writing about how humans and nature constantly interact to create new things. He's published in 2River View, Blood Lotus, Canary, and other places.