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Tuesday, October 13, 2020


by Mickey J. Corrigan

A microscopic view of 293T cells derived from embryonic kidneys, which several companies are using to develop Covid-19 therapies. The treatment for Covid-19 received by Mr. T***p—a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies he described as a “cure” in a celebratory video posted on Twitter—was developed using human cells derived from a fetus aborted decades ago. Photo credit: Juan Mabromata/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images via The New York Times, October 8, 2020

I wasn't born yesterday
I wasn't born at all
sacrificed for the future
sacrificed on the steel table
a precious budding knot
of unfolding potential
of stem cells used
to create the line
to create the path
to saving human lives

not mine I was just 
enough for the 293T
enough for the Per.C6
cells from the laboratory
cells from the dark years 
in secret dingy rooms
brave men in white coats
brave women in masks
brave enough to help
young girls weeping
salty ocean tears, all
in fear for their future
in fear for their lives
I didn't have one

so decades later—
decades of growth
decades of greed
decades of bloat—
he could be saved
he could live on
breathless and hardened
fat egg that won't break
perched on a wall of power
on a balcony above us
casting aspersions and lies
with elite impunity
with no responsibility
no respect for ideals
the common good 
I gave my life for

what he disregards—
laws made to be broken
laws like offshore trawlers
laws to be scoffed at—
lives cut short by whim
lives cut short by him
but not his

saved by others' sacrifices 
like mine
like yours

Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes Florida noir with a dark humor. Novels include  Project XX about a school shooting (Salt Publishing, UK, 2017) and What I Did for Love a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, 2019). Kelsay Books recently published the poetry chapbook the disappearing self. Grandma Moses Press will publish the poetry chapbook Florida Man later this year.