Michele Battiste

Life on Pluto

Pluto has been demoted because it does not dominate its neighborhood.
    – Mason Inman, National Geographic News

There are those among us who refuse
to memorize the planets in their proper
order. Once a man attended the council
meeting and spoke of monetizing

our collateral. We knew him
for a stranger but coveted the fine
stitching on his boots. As if his roads
were all and always freshly paved but smelled

nothing of cooling asphalt. Some say
this town is awfully cold but none
of us know what weather is.
Though we think we do, like a born-blind

child knows the color silver is a sudden
squall across a tarn and shuddering
nearby aspens. The bread at the bakery
tastes like moss and the baker says nom

nom nom
as she hands out samples. We feel
only pity for her and for each other.
We know what pitiful is. A shadow
growing longer despite the orbit

of five moons. We know night.
A shadow raging to be released
from its shell. The watchman knows
our names and keeps us in check. Dissuades

us from thinking of others. When we cross
each other’s path we hiss because
we know love. Someone once came to us
and spoke gently of the Pleiades.

That is it, we whispered. A constellation
we can refer to. Like silver. Like the sun
that, when it finally comes, makes
the shadows small.

Poem's Score: -0.0989661016949

Michele Battiste is the author of Ink for an Odd Cartography and Uprising (coming in October), both from Black Lawrence Press. She's a member of Broken Nose Collective and lives in Boulder, CO.


For July 2013,
Everyday Genius is pleased to present poems that were rated below 0.4 on the "Poetry Assessor"—a tool that "is designed to determine whether a poem has the characteristics of a professional poem, or, alternatively, an amateur poem.
We publish the poems here, with their scores, not to confirm the Assessor's judgment, but to allow human readers to decide for themselves.

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