Probes on TV tell the tale of their
worthlessness—all rock and frozen acid,
enough ammonia to shine the pane of a solar
system. Beneath an ice-cap’s green and limpid
tide, the bets are off on whether cell-bright
creatures stir which breathe that leaden wash.
No more austere than our lone satellite,
their deck of molts is etched in the crack and splash
of wombed volcanoes clocked in gelid rage.
It is not chaos that herds them away from us,
but the laws of dearth whose iron, wealth, and range
edict the plenitude of shackled stillness.
Behold the spirit of our stubborn nature there,
the rocky proud before the destitute mirror.
Previous Plume contributor, Ricardo Pau-Llosa published his seventh book of poems, Man, last year with Carnegie Mellon U Press. His poems have appeared or will soon in Southern Review, The Fiddlehead, december, APR, Poetry, Stand, Barrow Street, Dalhousie Review, The Hollins Critic among many other journals, as well as in numerous anthologies. He is also an accomplished art critic and curator. More at www.pau-llosa.com.