Elizabeth Bodi: Primogeniture

There are things passed down to me
from gene pools and chromosomes
like bristle-hair and brown eyes,
cow eyes, slanted and almond-
sweet, a vanilla-skin thin
like rice paper, skin and bones
and load-bearing hips and this,
this proclivity to doubt
and anxiety that feeds
on pills on attention on
and on from birth, from him, her,
habits broken into me
of doubletongue and inbetween
and straddling this or that,
her side, his side, where is mine
but lost in the rights of first
trial, maybe some error
because first counts as practice,
that pitch-hair, the mudflat eyes
set in tinted vellum-hide,
what did I get from them but
too-yellow, too-white, where is
my middle ground, earthquaking
because the things that passed down
were not the things I wanted.

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