A poem about billionaires in space (but actually about the rest of us)…
The billionaires are making their exit strategy:
Bezos & Branson, headed for space, forgetting, perhaps,
that they’ve already filled it with trash.
Junk satellites float silently in clacking, cluttered orbit.
There is no escaping the mess we’ve made
in our hurry to bring it all under control.
No place to outrun the consequence of such plunder.
Still. The universe is a symphony
we are too small to disrupt, even
with our crinkly gum wrappers and melting icebergs.
Uranus and Neptune elude our reach yet,
and the stars beyond our stars have never dreamed
of our little lives, though we stretch toward them,
though we breathe their dust.
Amid it all I choose the earth, green and blue and gasping.
All its ominous fracked timpani and blithe birdsong.
I choose the long shot of repair
and the orange and fuchsia sunsets that remain.
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise a kid, you know.
Bowie tempted us with stars, but
the Rocket Man longed for home.
I choose my children covered in mud and sticky dripping
popsicle, even as I imagine their doom.
I choose the wideness of this small planet for them too.
So, for all but Branson and Bezos, I ask you:
What is the strategy for staying?
(tangled up in gravity and fiberoptic lines and each other)
Maybe it starts in the ragged, earthy beat of our star-spattered breath.
- “We Who Remain”
by Molly Housh Gordon