what on earth is a planet. good goddess & good gracious & spacious presumptuous to plan it. what on earth have you planted. what harvest. what handed royalty wielded the spade until red clay yielded drops of blood & later magic buttered fingers & crosses. & dams. what grown-green sound of fury clanged. what galloped. what ranged. which dim echoes did you heed. (none.) which ghosts can sleep soundly. which ghosts take nightly Ambien. which ghosts have given in to the infinity of a scream. anything halved and halved again and so on will never disappear just dilute and scatter. why are you surprised to smell it on the wind still. gravity holds things close the atmosphere a smothering embrace. why are you self-righteous. why do you look down. where is a planet. where can it go but inside itself. the natural history of a pirouette in outer space is condensation.
a metaphor walks into a bar.
no, that’s not what I meant, that’s what I said.
we trip toward the future where we will all be covered in hideous meanings and will walk down the runway with it so stylish
we will all be gods and will eat only brain foods and will exfoliate with quinoa plucked from the sides of flying fish that flew into the mountains and stayed there.
we cannot wait to do experiments on each other. we cannot wait to turn our next-door neighbor into a robot at the church potluck.
we will spit Genesis like rap automatons: in the beginning in the beginning in the – in the – [scratching] [the vinyl turning too fast and melting at this point]
how many Jesuses does it take to make a week? is the question we will put on every standardized test. we will scratch and sniff the bubble with number 2 razor blades sharp as the teeth of our
favorite god, and he will laugh like something we buried long before we had enough words for the reek of it, something we no longer know how to explain.)
-- Irène Mathieu is a pediatrician and writer based in Philadelphia. Her poetry, prose, and photography can be found in The Caribbean Writer, The Lindenwood Review, Muzzle Magazine, qarrtsiluni, Extract(s), Diverse Voices Quarterly, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Los Angeles Review, Callaloo Journal, HEArt Journal, and elsewhere. She has been a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Callaloo fellow, and a Fulbright scholar. Her poetry chapbook, the galaxy of origins, was published in 2014 by dancing girl press.