Cell City: Oldtown

by Yu-Han Chao

Pass by cilia wigs and flagella whips
hanging from city gates, welcoming, warning
Fear the gun-toting, sword-wielding, spike-heeled
membrane patrol girls, staring you down, steely-

In the back lot of the Golgi apparatus
(where aliens work) hitch a ride from a
janitor (knowing he may digest you
or hand you over to The Nucleus,
in that order)

………………….And if you make it this
far, head down Cytoskeleton Street, past
the abandoned Smooth ER warehouse (no
detox no lipids), past the Mitochondria
power plant

Finally, what you risked your life to see:
the sexy Ribosome factory—lips,
t-ts, chains, squirting—so hot your proteins
may denature, end up in such bad shape
a trip to the rough ER’s required

Though if Miho’s around, you might just get
out of Oldtown (in the back trunk of a
vesicle) in a slightly different arrangement
from when you came in.