Ozone from Quaoar | Terry Trowbridge

Ozone Ironies

Ozone hole over Antarctica could heal entirely by 2066
says UN says the news which says to me
that the Earth so fucked by climate change
it’s clenching its butthole shut so hard it’s
     going to disappear.

Somehow, we sidestepped the Robocop 2 dystopia
with blue sunscreen SPF in the thousands.
We haven’t lost the ozone layer but
I’d buy that for a dollar if it would stop the extinctions.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier proposes, at the Circumpolar Council,
that the Inuit and other Nordic peoples have
the right to be cold.
The rest have the obligation to ensure that right.

That would slow the extinctions.
Instead, I will be paying so much more while mineral miners
apply sunscreen to their short-sleeved arms
under Mount Erebus.

Quokkas are From Quaoar

There’s a Ring Around This Dwarf Planet.
It Shouldn’t Be There. 
—New York Times
That ring outside the Roche limit,
and Weywot, the tiny moon;
we call their system Plutoids
because of our concepts of Tartarus and Hades,
distances so far from where solar flares unfurl
that we think in spiritual concepts instead of quantitative.
We great apes. We who assume all celestial bodies
but our own
are “natural.”

If only we looked down again at our proudly upright ankles
we would have seen the Quokka:
with their spheroid cheeks and fur,
their low-gravity mass,
their penchant for circling an object of study
from so very far away.

We might have realized
the ring of Quaoar is constructed
by its Arctic people,
that their burrowed cities account
for reduced gravity and miscalculated distances,
the dirt from their millennia of tunnels
and subways and geothermal

the flung-up backfill flown far
in Centaur gravity, kicking like Centaurs engineers,
so tiny clods of dust and pebbles would coalesce.
With the advent of space hops, and glass helmets,
the Quokka Empire could populate the ring,
establish a spaceport on Weywot,
aim for a world closer to tropical sand...

...And that is how the societies
on the Pacific coast of North America
came to know Quaoar as the source of life and worlds
and Weywot as his son.

Lost in a Dream
©2018 Justin Wolff via Unsplash

Poems ©2023 Terry Trowbridge
All rights reserved

Terry Trowbridge…

…poems appear in The New Quarterly, Carousel, subTerrain, paperplates, The Dalhousie Review, untethered, Quail Bell, The Nashwaak Review, Orbis, Snakeskin Poetry, Literary Yard, M58, CV2, Brittle Star, Bombfire, American Mathematical Monthly, The Academy of Heart and Mind, Canadian Woman Studies, The Mathematical Intelligencer, The Canadian Journal of Family and Youth, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, The Beatnik Cowboy, Borderless, Literary Veganism, and more. His lit crit has appeared in Ariel, British Columbia Review, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Episteme, Studies in Social Justice, Rampike, and The /t3mz/ Review.

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