On Finding Out My Genome Includes About Three Percent Neanderthal DNA

By Michael Derrick Hudson

It explains a lot. The unappeasable nostalgia at sundown. Those oof-oofs
when first I wake up. Or that faraway doggy look

I get when gazing at full moons. Every doggy thing, in fact,
about these eyes: heterochromia, astigmatism, and a remarkable capacity

for registering disappointment. Furry knuckles. Weak chin. A receding
brow too shaggy for such latitudes. A touch of depression and

my susceptibility to tragicomedy. Clownishly splayed
size twelves. Occipital bun. Knock-knees. Gracile shinbones (but robust

pelvic girdle). Hypercoagulation. My adhesive, prehensile lips puckering

around a single grape. A craving to know my whereabouts. A real talent
for sniffing out thunderstorms. How easy it is for me

to spook. My susceptibility to hoaxes, too-good-to-be-true scenarios, and

going-out-of-business sales. Grooveless canines. Skin tags. My tripwire
gag reflex. The prelapsarian nightmares. My prototype

conscience. My poor handwriting. A dread of abstractions. The flowers

I’ve sent to corpses. My shambling gait. Flight always
before fight. My shrugs. A limp handshake. My prophylactic revulsions.


Michael Derrick Hudson lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Boulevard, Columbia, The Georgia Review, Gulf Coast, Triggerfish Critical Review,and elsewhere. He was co-winner of the 2014 Manchester Poetry Prize.

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