Journal of Writing & Environment



Hello, hello, we wish to converse

with the decision-maker in there.

This is your Telomeres speaking.

We are done repairing ourselves

without reward or recognition just so

you can run around like a spring chicken

with its head cut off. If you fail in your duty

to reproduce soon, we will all need to be

extra careful to keep your cells young

so that when you finally do come to

your evolutionary senses, the clock

still keeps time, so to speak. (You’re all

wound up tight, and you wouldn’t believe

how rusty the gears have become

down here). They say de-stressing

keeps Us long, longer; we recommend

a regimen of organic bitter greens

plus a comprehensive course in yoga.

If you know what’s good for you – ahem,

your DNA – you’ll keep Us happy.

We’re like the gas cap you can’t afford

to drive away without because we live

in a land on fire. Speaking of fire, your

atrocious diet isn’t doing Us any favors

(see: Nutrigenomics; veganism; flaxseed).

It would, of course, be easier to acquiesce

our original demands. (You exist solely

to perpetuate Us, surely you do realize).

And don’t scoff like this is an uneven ex-

change. We did give you sex, after all.

The least you could do is do it au naturel

once or twice (but please do be particular

about with whom you copy Us. You haven’t

earned us; True: but here we are. Let’s hope

for improved quality next round). End-

phatically, your concerned Telomeres.



* Telomeres are structures at the end of chromosomes that buffer DNA from degradation; the sequence TTAGGG is repeated up to 2,500 times in human telomeres. Longer telomeres offer superior protection, and (since each instance of DNA replication tends to curtail length by omitting some TTAGGG’s) shorter telomeres correlate with aging.