Natural Selections

Like Hela Cells

Like Hela Cells

For Henrietta Lacks

By Kenny Bradley

if i die mid experimentation working with tuberculosis will I be used like Henrietta Lacks if it’s not written on a document does the brain lose its privacy as if rotted thoughts cannot still be trapped by skull before my body fuses with mother earth will my cells be enslaved by latex gloves pretending to hide white hands will my stem cells proliferate more melanin begin to paint an institution in night help nature create this “Blackface” granting them funds for incorporating my color in their bigger picture watch how useful i can become when my breath is snuffed and my cells begin to divide into 


Do not excavate my organs I do not concede my blobs of tissue to wipe your face clean your tears for a Nobel Prize for tagging my culture as an asterisk I do not grant my unconsented name to be worn as a mask I do not auction my body to be remembered for your science’s immortality let me denature when I die have only the covers of 8th grade science textbooks and the occasional park bench remember me let my discoveries inspire unheard voices before my cells become controversy