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"The Planets" by Diane Ackerman

The Planets,Diane Ackerman
We imagine them
flitting
cheek to jowl,
these driftrocks
of cosmic ash
thousandfold afloat
between Jupiter and Mars.
Frigga,
Fanny,
Adelheid
Lacrimosa.
Names to conjure with,
Dakotan black hills,
A light-opera
Staged on a barrier reef.
And swarm they may have,
Crumbly as blue-cheese,
That ur-moment
when the solar system
broke wind.
But now
they lumber
so wide apart
from each
to its neighbor’s
pinprick-glow
slant millions
and millions
of watertight miles.
Only in the longest view
do they gaze
like one herd
on a breathless tundra.


- Diane Ackerman,
The Planets (New York, Morrow, 1976)

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