Genome Analysis

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series: Sicilian Ancestors

Numbered and lettered genes
listed in thousands of pages.
Increased or decreased risk
for this or that cancer, bone strength.
Three genes say I’m likely
lactose intolerant (I’m not)
and prone to anxiety (I am).

All my genes argue about Parkinson’s
and heart disease and breast cancer,
good and bad, they say, without
any certainty to plan for.
I click to see more and more
until it’s too much information,
too much to take in, still filled

with unknowns, I brought to this
inquiry. Results confirm I’m at risk
for prostate cancer, but seems
to ignore the reality that I don’t have
a prostate. An evident sensitivity
to certain kinds of medicines,
an inclination toward mortality.

Photo Credit: DaveFayram Flickr via Compfight cc

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Joan Mazza

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Whitefish Review, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

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