Neurotransmitters by Marissa Hewatt Stephens

So you say they’re close to discovering the origins of life,

something about creating algae from amino acids.

Amazing? How?

Do you love me

because your neurotransmitters

release dopamine in response to

the pheromones my pores excrete,

because your brain cells expel oxytocin

when I make you come?

Do you choose me

because of sheer chance,

like the random joining of egg and sperm,

the 1 sperm

of your 100 million released

each time you ejaculate,

and the 1 egg

of the 1 million I was born with?

Could you love anyone the way you love me,

because out of the 7.2 billion bodies on this earth,

you could be compatible with approximately

1 billion, or maybe a million if you consider

only those in practical proximity?


So what can they tell us, the amino-acid-algae-discoveres,

the bio-chemico-life-creators-

if sperm meets egg, it’s accidental,

that in our wantings and desirings,

in our pheremonings and neruotransmittings,

in our ejaculatings and adjoinings,

you don’t love me

because fate brought us together,

some cosmic force drew our naked bodies

to one another like magnets,

because we were born to grow old together,

old and stupid.


-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2014-15 edition

-Photo credit to Dr. Jill Carnahan