An artist's conception of Pluto and its moon CharonDistanced far amid these heavenly bodies
Hides the wretched runt in our celestial litter
Death and ferryman, lurking in dim, ancient light
Riding Neptune's riptides
Clinging in indifference to names bestowed, not earned

Redraw the maps
Rewrite the books
No longer will my very educated mother
Show us nine planets

Death and the ferryman do not care

Death and the ferryman have gazed, will gaze impassively
Long beyond our ability to classify
To compartmentalize
To subdivide
To organize


Out of reach


Our frozen flower

A sphere by any other name would
                                                             taste as cold

                                                             appear as small

                                                             seem as remote

                                                             linger as steadfastly

Copyright © 2008, Peter Dabbene

Image Credit: NASA

Peter Dabbene is a Hamilton, New Jersey-based writer. His poetry has been featured in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Zillah, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, Apple Valley Review, White Leaf Review, California Quarterly, Adagio Verse Quarterly, Ampersand Poetry Journal, Hinge Online, Griffin, BluePrintReview, ByLine, Bogg, Red River Review, and SLAB, and is forthcoming in Rokovoko. He has also published two story collections, Prime Movements and Glossolalia, as well as a novel, Mister Dreyfus' Demons. Some of his stories can be found online at Parenthetical Note, Eyeshot, Quantum Muse and Yankee Pot Roast, in print in US 1, American Drivel Review, North Atlantic Review, Universe Pathways, Riversedge, Cantaraville, and the anthology Tribute to Orpheus and recorded in the audiozine Scyweb Bem.