Assimilating Astronomers

Rich Murphy

“And when the desire to suck took hold of me again, I drew again on the right pocket of my greatcoat, certain of not taking the same stone as the last time. And while I sucked it I rearranged the other stones in the way I have just described. And so on.”

—Beckett (Molloy)

Our aim is to suck the stars and planets down
to eyeball size: “Peek-a-boo unconscious!”
We've arranged them in order in frock pockets
or rattle them anonymously in old socks.
Do we recycle the safety-sealed bag?

We don’t have an enemy on Earth
or anywhere else. Believe the curious scientist.
The maimed, starved, slaughtered masses need
to toughen up. The domestic creatures
around us pan our fantasies that stream
from our pores and bowel sounds
while we jump for joy.
Give all on their knees boots.

Other galaxy life-forms will be liberated
of flavors and nutrients: Tabula rasa,
vers libre, International Trade Center.

Notice: The jawbreakers are tongue twisters, kids.
Fill your mouth with elemental marbles.
Now, rhyme Ursa minor three times, fast.
3-2-1. You can’t blow bubbles with Polaris,
nor laugh at its cartoon in its wrapper.
But you aren’t lost little oysters;
you can hold your tooth in the palm of your hand.

—First appeared in Americas Review

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