Pluto by David Hanlon

Blasted into outer space
I am plutoed
7.5 billion kilo-metres away
destination—desolation
exiled
with no oxygen

Wrestling to draw breath
I open my mouth
but all I take in
is the planet’s all-consuming
lifelessness

My bones tremble
shatter
as my body is forced
into the form
I am transformed
I have become it
Pluto.

A small mass of icy gas
you can walk through me
and not notice
I’ll allow it
only as this planet

Now, my heart
Tombaugh Regio
is nitrogen ice
the largest bright feature
protecting me from
encroaching darkness

My new-born existence
is questioned, denied
and eventually
revitalized
I return as a dwarf
shaped by my experience

Finally, I exhale
expel the barren Galactic object from my mouth
return to human form
an inhabitant of the planet, moments ago, I was

Free to leave
I have new-found exuberance and agility
I hop planets
sprint laps around Saturn’s giant rings
join the endless search for life on Mars
withstand the polar extremes in surface temperature on Mercury

I revisit Pluto too
it’s in my nature

Whilst there
I see a spacecraft fly by
a part of the growing population
fleeting though it is
objects of a belt
fastened tightly
through the intergalactic loop

 

David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales, and currently living in Bristol, England. You can find his work online in Honey & Lime Lit, Dirty Paws Poetry Review, Into The Void & Barren Magazine, among others. You can follow him on twitter: @DavidHanlon13

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