The Ins and Outs of Planetary Relocation

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NASA via Wikimedia Commons

I tie the solar system around
your wrist to remind you why
Days are longer here.

Moon-dipped mapmakers, stellar
shelter-seekers, we follow cosmic river shadows
through the red valleys of asteroids,

track the ice tails of comets
to their glacial source, chart infinite neon
tides and looping lunar cycles.

We string our findings into strange constellations
across an ultraviolet sky. This future is unnamed
and ancient, unwatched and spinning.

Yes, there are star-starved nights when I miss
the absolute taste of gravity, when I want to swallow
every heavy galaxy between here and home;

To be alien in alien terrain is to wake
up to three white suns and gas-thin bones,
to breath mechanically, dust-lonely, desert-wild.

You, dear voyager, built our one-way spaceship
from the saturnine scraps of your inherited SUV
and the psychedelic pulp of sci-fi comic books,

fueled it with fumes of celestial optimism, the only
obvious force that sticks humans to rockets.
How did you launch the spiraling mass of

two earth-fond bodies
through the static atmosphere of our prior lives?
As interplanetary transplants, we speak in paradoxes

and synonyms, of glitching clocks and drifting nights.
Sometimes, I ask you to remind me why
Days are longer here.

Sarah Rodriguez is the Poetry Editor at Punch Drunk Press and is a supporting member of the Boulder Writers’ Warehouse and Beyond Academia Free Skool. Sarah can be found reading and editing at various events in both Boulder and Denver.