ISSUE TWENTY ONE: Smaller, Yes, ty | next poem →

oxytocin | ˌɑksəˈtoʊs(ə)n


Janet Dale

Sure, Sir Henry H. Dale was awarded the Nobel Prize 30 years after he discovered this nine amino acid neuropeptide, but could he have really understood what he was getting into because I didn’t understand what I was getting into when on the couch you wrapped your arm around me and we nuzzled in to watch TV.

Pick any name:
the bonding hormone
the cuddle hormone
the love hormone
Because a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?

Dale chose "oxytocin" from the Greek for "quick birth," (he was studying the uterus of a cat) and it’s found unchanged in every mammalian species, but what happens when there’s not enough or too much because we managed a four-year pregnant pause only to reconnect unexpectantly heavy and fast within hours, within days.

Ripe with possibilities:
fingertips to fingertips
lips to lips to lips
clothing on the floor
Because though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.

cysteine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine, the structure of Oxt is like another nonapeptide Avp (vasopressin) but they are oriented in opposite directions like when we are lying next to each other and your left leg mirrors my right until we lift and cross breaking an invisible space between.

Let’s forget science:
When you lean in for a kiss,
there’s that look in your eyes
just before they close
Because love is a spirit all compact of fire.

Janet Dale claims Memphis as home, currently she lives in southeast Georgia where she teaches First Year Writing at Georgia Southern University and can be found reading something (including submissions for Nightjar Review). Her work has appeared in The Boiler, Hobart, Zone 3, Pine Hills Review, among others. She tweets a lot over @THEsisterjanet.

ISSUE TWENTY ONE: Smaller, Yes, ty | next poem →

ISSUE TWENTY ONE: Smaller, Yes, ty

Rachel Nix
   A Distraction of the Empty Spaces

Catherine Lee
   Sine Wave

Seth Copeland
   How to Create Ghosts

Janet Dale
   oxytocin | ˌɑksəˈtoʊs(ə)n

Larry Thacker
   Jesus Christ blends in, #2

Kate Bazin