Kathleen Ossip is the author of The Do-Over, a New York Times Editors' Choice. She was a 2016-2017 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and she teaches at The New School in New York.
Feasting on carrot leaves and honeysuckle,
on hollyhock and cabbage,
darting between tangles of telephone wire,
the color of fire seen through the stained-glass window
of a cathedral,
mythic-green, paradox-blue, some with seven orange spots,
like pages ripped from the memoir of a rainbow,
classified by size or sex, born in late September, early June,
They must have seemed crazy—the first person to have done it. It must have seemed like a death wish, a sad madness, a suicide. I don’t mean the first person to decide to write a novel, but the first person to give themselves a vaccination.