Amelia Hamerlynck / Burns High School, Burns, OR

English Teacher: Ms. Diana Banks

Inspired by things I learned in my AP biology class.

Dual Explanations of Biological Concepts

Part one is Earth, beginning with

Primordial Soup

the five chemicals required for the creation of organic matter

—Phosphorous, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon, and Hydrogen—

suspended in the aqueous solution of earth's primitive oceans,

from which life emerged


Convergent Evolution is the ability for

completely different organisms from

completely different lineages of

different species in

different areas,

sometimes entire oceans away,

deriving similar or identical features from

their similar environmental conditions


Punctuated Equilibrium

a massive disturbance in a territory's structural balance

resulting in a brief but active period of

intense and rapid change

in a population's phenotypes


Crypsis is an ability organisms develop

to avoid observation or recognition

through camouflage, mimicry, or subterranean lifestyle,

which can be for means of predation or protection,

often times simultaneously

Part Two is you

You exploded forth from an ambiguous mixture

of all that is human and animal

Every ocean from primordial times to this moment combined

reaches the equivalent of all the life

in your eyes

You are so miraculous and I’d like to think someone on earth

has evolved accordingly, possibly oceans away

You could meet

Your kind were never meant to cross paths

because God knows what happens

when two whole primordial soup recipes converge

but I'd infer it's akin to a natural disaster,

something that could punctuate

your painstakingly perfect equilibrium

and incite a revolution.

Changes would clash and coexist in your population

Nature would perform experiments on your allele frequencies

in her nurturing attempt to correct all the mistakes she made,

and you would come out the other end

an entirely new ecosystem.

And yet you sit here enveloped in crypsis

You hide your head in a hole and stay inside,

shielding your eyes from the sun;

you expand the space around you by shrinking yourself

You were somehow born with a chameleon-like mutation

of blending into the background of whoever or whatever confronts you

Your internal galaxies scare you half to death

so you avoid death by neglecting the daunting task of finding an identity

Mimicry is easier

Conformity is easier

Is this protection?

Are you a shapeshifting octopus;

a lithops succulent that convinces the world it's just a lifeless pebble

instead of showcasing its incredible ability to sustain itself;

a viceroy butterfly who admired its monarch cousin so much

it began to dress like fake royalty?

Or are you a predator?

Perhaps you're sandy-colored

like the tall grass surrounding you

so the zebras are caught off-guard

when you unhinge your carnivorous jaw

and let out your lioness roar

Maybe the spark of danger I see in your survival tactics

is an inference derived from my biological knowledge

and not just hopeless romanticizing

I don't know

I think I understand

primordial soup and

convergent evolution and

punctuated equilibrium and

crypsis and

yet I don't understand you.

All I ask is that you let me.