Poem of the Week With a Biology Twist

A Love Poem for the Minds of Scientists

  • Graphic Breea Kobernick

“Study Guide for Bio Midterm 2”

I wanted to write you a love poem
But we’re biology majors so I won’t do you that disservice
Instead I’ll help you study
The four-chambered avian heart
Is the most efficient circulatory system evolution has yet to come up with
But evolution is not progressive
Evolution goes backward and sideways and upside down like a fool in love
Trying to adapt to an environment that can’t sit still
But you happen to like the inefficient mammalian heart
When we dissected sheep hearts you spent all three hours squeezing it like a stress toy
“With all its mistakes” you said that day heart in hand
“This organ is one of the big two how wild is that”
Speaking of the brain
No one understands it but that won’t stop us from defining it
Myelinated neurons are covered in glial cells aka the myelin sheath
These cells increase the speed of electrical signals
So that when you smile at me
My palms start sweating instantly
Much like the neuronal pathways in the brain
Eukaryotic cells
That’s with a nucleus
Have an ATP highway of microtubules
Rushing energy to and fro like a mailman on cocaine
When a cell undergoes apoptosis aka programmed cell death
I suppose that crazed mailman goes with it
I don’t call cells she like you do but I like how you name the specimens in your microscope slide
Even though you can’t possibly tell that the lily anther you named James last month
Is the same one we saw during our practical last week
And the fact that you named the snakes we dissected Kim K and T Swift
Is a cultural reference that will be outdated in a year
But it still made our TA laugh until her eyes watered
I briefly mentioned the nervous system
So now onto the endocrine system
Where the nervous system relays messages instantly
The hormone delivery system is slower
The are four distances hormones can act over
Endocrine affects distant cells
Paracrine affects nearby cells
Autocrine affects the same cell
And pheromones affect another individual
There is debate on whether humans are affected by pheromones the way animals are
Sensing the right pheromones and falling in love
Or at least falling in lust
But meeting you convinced me that either your pheromones speak to the ancient parts of me
Or love at first sight is real
And I am still a scientist so I’ll go with the former

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