First, moons of Jupiter and Saturn;
then we’ll realize every solar body houses life-forms—
every wasp’s nest houses wasps,
none more or less advanced, intelligent.
Life’s pigment in the cosmic pestle,
only interim imbroglios of radiation,
neither here nor there in devolution’s blue-moon perpetuity,
just twisted flyspecks french-fried back into oblivion
as gamma rays stream past en route
to more important, distant destinations
we can only theorize about in math.
The planets, moons and wasps within our ken
are footnotes’ footnotes’ footnotes.

Yes, all politics is local.
Still, are there kindred microbes on Enceladus?—
importance-wise, a step up from Trump’s latest blooper.
He’s no sillier than they are, or ourselves.
another plume of chemicals,
as likely as the next to be the Hidden Mahdi of all physics.
All that gamma could be wrong,
will realize its mistake and make a U-turn
back to cast itself at Donald’s feet.
“We should have known! We should have seen it!”
all the Democrats will wail. “The End of Days!”
Republicans are dancing in the street.
The H-bomb-bearing missiles arc.

Tom Riordan lives in New Jersey. He’s a retired restaurant worker and teacher, and dreams about becoming pope for his next career.

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