In a Living Cell. by Laura Hess (she, her)

the new gene variants went into the cell

you had a sustained vision of heaven

the two events were connected—
they had to be—otherwise,

you’d have to kneel all night
at the edge of your grave,
questions crowding your thoughts,

the tumor’s own machinery for
self-assertion slowly taking
over in your head so the vision
of heaven expanded wider and deeper
than before to an immaterial
size in a gray area between

the cells of the tumor incorporating
angels into the genome in 24 hours

a sudden gust of wind blew up
feathers and harp chords resonating
in semi-structured sequences of
DNA codes while you wanted

to do all you could to prepare
for the next operation, but

not even your surgeon could
say for sure how fast the tumor
would grow and do its damage

so you move around to the other
side of your grave and dream
another dream of heaven grown
small this time, small enough
to fit in your divine call

Laura Hess lives in Texas with her dog Gracie. Laura Hess enjoys doing yoga, and writing and illustrating children’s books. She taught AP Language and Composition at a high school in China for five years. She currently works as a substitute teacher. On Facebook: