I read today that a mountain lion was found in Idaho
with a set of fully-formed teeth and whiskers
growing out of the top of its head.
Experts surmise that it could most likely be a teratoma.
And I never knew this was a thing,
that these tumors grow wedges of cartilage, patches of hair,
pieces of liver and heart,
fragments of fingers and toes,
in the brain, or perhaps the stomach, of an unsuspecting animal, or human host.
A horror show of tangled vessel and bone.
And I imagine now that this monster doesn’t fancy itself a mistake;
conceiving us as the malignancy stopping its growth.
Replicating its proliferating cells,
swelling out of our tissues,
laboring in our blood
to birth its own ideal.
Believing its mass is the source and summit of life.
Terminating our structures in order to deliver itself.
And when this parasitic bundle of parts, this
destruction disguised as creation
realizes it can never let our cord go, says,
“Maybe they won’t raze me if I make myself in their image.”
Victoria Nordlund teaches creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. She was a finalist for the NEATE New England Poetry Competition and took first place in the CWP’s poetry contest. Her work has been published in the Connecticut English Journal and The Leaflet. Victoria is part of a wonderful writing group,The Wordsong Poets.