“Dikaryote” by Yu-Han Chao

Just because we pierce our septa,

           know how to wield a Mr. Softee

                      as well as sit on one

doesn’t give you the right to call us

           the d word.

We may not have PhDs in Oral,

           but we’ve two years of training

                      (plus two years of Spanish)

           will eat anybody,

                      could pass as hetero.

So what if we scissor and fuse our roots,

           fruit,

           fertilize each other’s eggs?

We spend our entire lives treated like halves, not wholes

How dare you call our favorite non-clone daughter halfie

           or the d word

                      she just barely reconciled our genes

By the time she has her first O (brief, nearly dies of the p)

           her heart, worn on her basidium,

                      will break into four pieces

                      not quarters but pulsing halves

should they land in the right place,

           sprout into

meandering, scissoring hyphae,

continue this figure-eight cycle ad infinitum.

Yu-Han Chao was born and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. She received her
MFA from Penn State, taught at UC Merced, and is working towards a
degree in nursing. The Backwaters Press published her poetry book, and
her short story collection is forthcoming with Red Hen Press. Her
website is http://www.yuhanchao.com.

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