Taenia solium in Homo sapiens: The Pork Tapeworm in Man


It inhabits some small spaces at first,
enjoying its new home so much it spreads
from the small intestine to brain to heart,
even hiding from immune surveillance,

cysticerci hitching in the sclera.
Host and guest continue to coevolve,
for ages now. Still, few study Taenia,
its genome and the clues to Homo’s rave

and great migrations from our motherland,
what might have been eaten and how often.
The case “Who Infected Whom”, now revised
using DNA, pardoning all swine.

But here, who inhabits whom, poet or poem
and how do they live in oblivion?

 

 

 

 

 

© Robert S. Pesich, all rights reserved. This poem first appeared in The Jet Fuel Review, Issue 4, Spring, 2012