Astronomers Locate a New Planet
“Astronomers Locate a New Planet,” a poem by Matthew Olzmann (poetry, ’09; Beebe Fellow, ’12) appears online at Hyphen.
“Because it is so dense, scientists calculate the carbon must be crystalline, so a large part of this strange world will effectively be diamond.” — Reuters, 8/24/2011
Like the universe’s largest engagement ring, it twirls
and sparkles its way through infinity.
The citizens of the new world know about luxury.
They can live for a thousand years.
Their hearts are little clocks
with silver pendulums pulsing inside.
Eyes like onyx, teeth like pearl.
But it’s not always easy. They know hunger.
They starve. A field made of diamond
is impossible to plow; shovels crumble and fold
like paper animals. So frequent is famine,
that when two people get married,
one gives the other a locket filled with dirt.
That’s the rare thing, the treasured thing, there.
It takes decades to save for,
but the ground beneath them glows, and people find a way.