The Third Planet by David C. Kopaska-Merkel and Kendall Evans

the_third_planetThe Third Planet
or, Something Had to be Done

David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Kendall Evans

The blues of seas, the aquamarines
White whorls of cloud
The sun-struck tans and browns
Of continents with tails
And trailing islands
As if the Coriolis force affects them too–
The third planet: thin-skinned, touchy,
Not a particularly good neighbor,
Prone to accusing other planets of plotting
Against her, then she drops the big one
Or maybe a series of little ones
Like stinging ants

On Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons,
On Neptune’s satellite colonies;
Scatter-shot the settled asteroids
With a flak-descended
Extremely destructive quantum-weapon;
What is the Outer Planet Consortium
(Still including Pluto) to do?

So Io suggests the Oort thing
But Jupiter’s like “been there, done that”
Grumbling about what you get
When you invite moons
To a planet party; Pluto is
Uncomfortable with this
Changes the subject what about
Nano, but solar wind’s against them
Sucks being an outsider

Then Saturn points out the
60 quadrillion vermin swimming
In Jupiter’s planetary sea
Ought to be good for something
[This is a gaffe of planetary proportions]
I’m just saying, a few billion warships
Should be able to do some damage
To the inner system infrastructure
And while you’re at it bring back
A six-pack of human females

And that is pretty much how
And why, all you little kidlings–
Yes, you artificially intelligent ones too–
The Earth fell all to pieces
And remarkably small and finely ground pieces
At that, otherwise the sun might have
Merely possessed another asteroid belt,
Rather than this beautiful set of rings
3videographed so convincingly and vividly
By robo-probes
Rocketed outside the plane of the ecliptic.



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