“You kids may think
you’re ‘expanding your consciousness’
when you take these drugs like LSD,”
Mr. Brooks lectured our Health Ed. class,
the sarcastic quotation marks
audible in his voice,
“but you know what you’re doing?
You’re scrambling your chromosomes.
It’s a fact. Scientists have proved it,”
he asserted, a defiant Napoleon
in front of the blackboard,
and the dread
that if I ever did have sex
with Becky Dugard,
who I was still working up the nerve
to ask out on a date,
if we married and she got pregnant –
“Ten, fifteen years from now,
you might have kids
born with gills or six fingers,”
Brooks spelled out.
“So much for your ‘expanded consciousness,’”
he sneered, and this time,
he really did use air quotes,
his fingers making me think of fishhooks,
ensnaring my theoretical child
by his or her gills.