My mother’s brain is decaying;
The nuclear radiation kind of decay.
The kind of decay that emits poison,
The kind of decay that mutates the cells of everyone else around her.
My mother is going insane
And spilling gamma radiation all around her in a melted nucleic oil spill;
Alpha rays and beta rays and spliced genes and cancer cells,
Lab rats that can glow in the dark, malignant tumors, mismatched nucleotides, brain hemorrhages.
Helium-4, uranium-238, thorium-234; it’s all in the tap water now.
My mother’s liquidating brain is killing me,
My mother’s terrestrial gamma ray burst,
My mother’s cluster decay.
The RNA polymerase in her neurons unzips everything,
And glues it back together all wrong,
Forever changing changing the sequence of her once-beautiful nucleotides,
And shredding the genome–
That impossibly long and entirely incredible genome–
That, at some long-ago and watery point, I was given half of.
When will I start to decay?