Helix

Written By: Virginia Thomas

A single beam of blue-white streetlight
comes streaking through the blinds.
If only the pine outside my window
had grown an extra branch.

If only Rosalind Franklin had chased
those boys, Watson and Crick, down
the spiral staircases of the double helix
to claim her prize, her immortality,

instead of dying, age 37, from cancer,
like Madame Curie, 66, like my mother, 46, who
wept the first time she passed a lingerie section,
knowing she would never again fill lace
the way the models did with their double curves.

If only her helix had stayed where it was,
instead of chasing its tail like a mad kite.
If only my cells hadn’t mirrored hers
I wouldn’t be in bed
so awake
with a beam of blue-white light wounding me.

Virginia Thomas

Virginia Thomas is currently in her first year at Eastern Washington University’s MFA program, where she also received her BA in creative writing.

Her poetry has appeared in Visualize/Verbalize, Northwest Boulevard, and Railtown Almanac. She was born and raised in Wyoming, and now resides in Spokane with her husband and their cat.