Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Final Issue 2018
Rogue Planets (Third Poem for You)
Kat Finch

        I have neglected to water all the plants. Today, Beirut is bombed. Adrift
in perpetual night, there is no star we can say we’re tethered to. A funeral in Baghdad ends

        in a pyre, the molten core fueling nothing but the what-could-have-been. Howls
come from the hound in the apartment behind mine– I replace my eyes

        with onions, slit into them repeatedly with my grandmother’s paring knife. Such orphans,
attempting to relate across distance, are we not? Paris is not burning, but blood is donated.

        I am guilty of being sad, of being just a body, amidst bodies, wandering away
from a solar system we never got to know. It is hard to hold onto more than one tragedy

        at a time; like a vat of blooming prunes, I felt mortal. In Japan and Mexico the earth
ruptures along the seams. It has happened in India. It will happen again. A span of 300 years:

        I stand in the remains of a salt-eaten forest in Cascadia, where 5,000 miles away Miho
and the rest of Japan’s eastern shore is met by a tsunami rumored without origin. Coral will finally

        recover the acidification of the oceans in the year 2 million. There is a 95% probability
that humans will be extinct by the year 10,000. Not to fear, on the Kardashev Scale, humans will be

        a Type III Civilization, harnessers of galactic energy by 8,000, give or take. We trace a reflection
of that which we wish to see: in a dark bar I pull a face into my solitary arc. We are nothing if not

        fleeting, the receptors in our saliva inform us. This is not the planet who pulled me in like a binary
system. Who amassed such energy to fling us across the Age of Gemini, the heralding of a new North

        Star, to dismantle the internal forge within. How will these planets be found with no star?
Who disrupts the light but those comfortable in their gentle-birth orbits? I take the left over silica

        of the planet I loved, feed it to the pepper-mill. I cannot find another. The tragedies
we bear rotate algorithmically. The unbearable heart can only decipher so much. The drought

        in Syria is not a parable, but an omen of fact. It has been manifesting in the revenants
of fossil reptiles, which is not a fact of time, but use. I strive to close the distance

        between here and Detroit. Between the egg and the man. Meanwhile, our solar system
is moving farther and farther away from the 5th giant it let loose. These connections: silk

        from the spider. When we come up against the webs we panic, flail our hands to ward off evil,
but the approach is wrong– just what is the unknown, but a broken, gold disc. I want to quantify

        every living hurt, to comprehend the vastness of each subsurface ocean we contain. For all
these stars, I cannot see beyond my own craters. It is easy, in darkness, to forget how long we’ll burn.

About Kat Finch

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