What if planets grew on trees?
Towering trunks made of time,
a thousand histories yet to
be lived, all creaking under
the weight of the fruit blossoming
in this celestial orchard.
How long did God peruse this
garden that had the stomach
for infinite Edens
before he found the perfect
planets for our solar system?
What mattered to Him most?
The colour? The shape? The way they
looked lined up in a sequence?
It’s easy to envision Saturn
seducing Him with her jewellery,
the twinkling sounds it makes as
she dances, and Jupiter was
robust enough to make
the universe look rich,
as if it meant something.
Pluto is more of a mystery.
I’d wager it was pity that drove
its inclusion, or perhaps
there was something charming
about its prematurity-
a seed lost amongst a harvest.
And now that they have been strung
together like baubles on branches
or bulbs in streetlamps,
should we worry about God getting hungry?
I imagine he would go for us first,
as we give off a viridian sheen
reminiscent of a freshly polished apple.
He’d bite into us, hear the crunch
of tectonic plates (an earthquake
that couldn’t be truer to the name)
and the sea would dribble down his
chin and lace his beard with salt.
He’d wipe this away with a hand
that crosses lightyears between his
waist and his face, before polishing
us off and tossing the core into a
holy dustbin, along with packaging
for heavenly shaving foam and
those Adam and Eve prototypes
that came out with too many limbs.
There, the planet’s remains would
rot away and be swarmed by
buzzing stars with paper-thin wings.
It’s the smell of the magma
seeping out of the corpse they’re
attracted to; magma and the
stench from teeth marks
left in landfills.
By Emma Brade