The microbiome is the collection of all microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes, that naturally live on our bodies and inside us. Although microbes are so small that they require a microscope to see them, they contribute in big ways to human health and wellness.

                                                                                        -the internet


                                  --Paul Kafka-Gibbons and Shereen Salem

I. Ascending


Teri, a bacTERIum, is attending the annual Harvest Festival in the Ascending Colon when they lock taste-and-scent sensors with Bud, a fungus.  The chemistry is powerful, and before they both know it, Teri and Bud are exchanging molecules and feelings.  

Teri sings 

Tender Tendrils

Who the hell are you?

What is this sticky thing

Drawing us together?

Am I wanting to be near you

To be connected to you?

I’m so confused

But I like it

Jordan (a human, in whose colon the story unfolds) sings 

What is Happening Inside Me?

I feel a stirring

Deep inside.

What is happening?

Sometimes I think

Cashier at 7-11

Is not my most important role

Am I a world?


The Bacteria (any number greater than two) pull Teri away.

Bacteria sing 

We Don’t Do Mold

Teri, Bud is a fungus

Don’t let them amongst us

Find yourself a Bacterium

From the neighborhood

Like Jack

Who looks like everyone you know

Jack wants to make a cluster with you

Sure, Jack can only do Jack

Jack can’t reproduce sexually

Or symbiotically

But mitosis

Is traditional


God likes it

The Fungi pull Bud away.

Fungi sing 

Stick to Sarah

Sarah’s sticky

Sarah’s one of us

Good enough for the ancestors

Good enough for you

Bud near Sarah

The spores decided this long before

You budded

You don’t need no balloon lover

Smoothies ARE cooties

Stay away from their smooth booty

Stick to Sarah

You will feel right

Make a good pure

Slime nest

God is sticky

The Bacteria sing their song, dance their dance, as do the Fungi.  Their songs interweave, but they dance separately.  

Bud breaks free.  Sticks to Teri, pulls Teri free.  

They tango, singing a variant of

Tender Tendrils

Who the hell are you?

What is this sticky thing

Holding us together?

I am so near you

Connected to you

I’m less confused

I’m loving our union

until Bud’s father and Teri’s mother come and forcefully separate them.

Jordan sings 

What the Fuck?

Here’s your Grape Vape

Oh snap pea! 

Something is happening inside me

I felt bliss

It went away

I want it back

Darcy and I

Stopped eating processed food

Just whole grains

Locally sourced well-treated plants

We practice and practice and practice

Tantric sex 

I’m gonna text them

Something wonderful

Is happening 

Deep inside me

Same price for the Extra Large Slurpee

Have a nice day

II.  Crossing


Teri sends Bud a molecule letter via LVIRa, Teri’s chaperone, a kindly virus of middle age.  LVIRa knows she shouldn’t help the innocent Bacterium hook up with the comely Fungus, but still she sings

I’m Repeating Myself

Just like Moms

I’m a matchmaker

Nothing makes me happier 

Than bringing two to love

And love to two

Who am I going to mate with?

Oh yeah…

So many hosts 

So little time

At the risk of repeating myself

I’ll do it

For Teri

And for me

LVIRa dances among the Bacteria, and after dancing with each one, a second third and fourth LVIRa appear from behind the dancing couple, until the LVIRuses outnumber the Bacteria.  

The Fungi are off to the side, holding Bud firmly in a hyphae filament.  They sing

Who Needs Sunlight?

We’re over here

Go ahead

Throw shade

We’re not Green

We’re Colonialist

Bud’s not going anywhere

They stay amongst us


Teri emerges cautiously.  The Bacteria see Teri and try to catch them but are lost in a sea of LVIRa.  Bud snaps the filament and Teri and Bud run to a secluded niche.  Bundled, they sense each other intimately as they sing

What If We Are New?

I love you Teri

I love you Bud

You complete me

But you have good boundaries

I’m still me

I will live longer

I will live better with you

So near you

But still me


Equal powered partners

Unique contributions

Mutual appreciation society

Crazy good feelings

I will have more energy

I will have a better idea what is around me

Where to get lunch

Stuff I couldn’t used to eat

We are new

Let’s hyphenate



Generate and 


I love you Bud

I love you Teri

III. Falling


Night is falling.

Darcy and Jordan are eating an elaborate healthy dinner in their yurt.

Time passes.

Jordan and Darcy make love.

Jordan and Darcy’s feast reaches the Bacteria and the Fungi.  Inside the lovers, food particles are jostled, fall.  The Harvest Festival resumes.

Teri and Bud come from their niche and pull the two groups together, singing

Let’s Get Together and Eat

Fungi, Bacteria

You’ve got to try this

Closer, closer

Sure those smooth booties are cooties

Sure those tendrils are sticky

But you won’t believe what happens 

When you come together 

Right now

Over us

The Fungi and Bacteria begin to tango in pairs, trios, quartets.  Bacteria sing

We Do Do Mold

Now we do do mold

Though we don’t know how

To do it or 

How we got here

But getting stuck

To Fungi

Is hot and cool



We like it

Fungi sing

We Do Do Smooth Booty

We do do smooth cell booty

Our tendrils are flexible

Tender AND tough

We’re learning new tricks

Mom or Dad

Bud out of our bidness

Divide in sameness if you must

Conquer your own fear

of Change

Stop trying to conquer us

We are making something groovalicious

Bud and Teri

Have the recipe

They’re showing us the steps

The feelings

The chemistry

The LVIRas hold the Parental Fungi and Bacteria back.  The Parents get together in an enclosing double-circular folk dance which then combines into a single Bacterial-Fungal circular dance.  The LVIRas cut the ties that hold the circle together until finally Parental Bacteria, Fungi and Viruses all weave around the tangoing Bacteria and Fungi couples, triples, quartets.  The entire microbiome dance and sing the finale, 

We Do Do Do-Do

Night is falling.

Our feast is nearly at an end

Jordan’s end

That’s okay

Life is change

We will journey

Into outer space

Darcy and Jordan’s

Composting Potty

Holy Hole

Sacred ground



New life