This week scientists created something
resembling a human embryo.
They try to alchemize life as though it is a precious metal.

By Tuesday eight people are shot dead
outside Atlanta, six of them Asian.
My first thought is why did the killer do it?
My second thought is I hope
they pronounce their names correctly on television.

Three of the victims worked at Gold Spa.
Someone throws back a beer, makes a joke
about massage parlors and happy endings.
How many times has a man said to me
I’ve always had a thing for Asian women.

I want to pretend this isn’t about race,
that the women who are shot to death
don’t look like me, my mother, my daughter.
I try to ignore the fact that the killer
looks like my high school boyfriend.

When people are killed we always want answers,
as though murder should somehow make sense.
But Spacetime doesn’t account for who we lose
or how, or why.
All of the gold we will know has already fallen
to Earth on the backs of dead stars.

This week, scientists work tirelessly, hoping
for a breakthrough, try to understand what they’re missing
when it comes to making human beings.
They ask, how does a cell become human?

They ask, what goes wrong?