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PN Review 275
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This poem is taken from PN Review 275, Volume 50 Number 3, January - February 2024.

Four Poems Jane Houston

When the world’s most solitary species was found
in the hot, utterly black water of Mponeng mine,
the chat was all about sending it to another planet
to see if it survives. As if it’s not lonely enough
two miles underground with no other living thing.

Solutions bring their own problems. Ask any child
who kept a bag packed and a runaway note ready.
I couldn’t fit my sister in my bag so never got past
Stone Bridge. And the astronaut’s rapture comes,
it seems, in looking back – the jewel in the void!

Strike out, with the competency of bacteria,
or run home, for all we can’t fit in the bag?
No sunlight or ecosystem, in complete absence.   
Technically alive – sounds like death.


I did not consider this!

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