April 14, 2017
*On this day, a NASA telescope discovered a system of Earth-sized planets orbiting around a single star, three of them well within the habitable zone
So now, you’re telling me, every time I look skyward
I gotta think about three more earths hanging out up there
some trillion lightyears away?
I just spotted Taurus for the first time yesterday,
I confuse the North Star with a skyrocket most nights,
and until twenty-two I thought it was O’ Briens belt—
But now, you’re telling me, I gotta gaze up
and wonder about one two three habitable planets
just as capable at life and death as us?
And they’re saying we should colonize the moon,
or Mars, or wherever, all at a small cost to the traveler,
in the grand scheme.
Our yearning for larger domains growing like imagination
as this manifold world stands evermore divided—
another wall, another treaty, another last-minute escape,
Another torture chamber in the middle of the ocean,
another floundering nation digging out the uranium
from their own blood cells to use on their own people
Another rocket making scars in the sky—
where will it fall when will it fall
when will it all crumble and dust?
We birdsong to Aliens on their Arrival in the movies,
We make films about space pirates, space monkeys,
space robots, space wars, space holes.
We watch Sandra America’s Sweetheart Bullock
knock herself out with a spacepod fire extinguisher,
McConaughey running away from a stellar wave for twenty years,
We argue about whether we’ve ever planted a flag on our
big ball of cheese, ready to war over it.
But I guess it makes sense—
I guess is the real news, that we might not lift
out of this green and blue before it all goes gray.
Or are we already shrouded flame and smoke?
Fighting for our ticket out,
gasping for a black hole to suck us
speeding away at lightspeed to the infinity beyond.
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