Small Explosions

(For Nia and Conor)

Don’t bother acting the maggot in the house of the dead.
Go soak the yard with coke and mentos bombs instead.

If there is any hope of shattering the silence
scoot the wet explosions high over the fence.

Feel the brown plumes spraying moisture on your face
as the moon rolls like a mint in the dark cola of space.

Perhaps a soul can pause its long trek in the moondust,
turning ankle-deep to glimpse back down upon us.

So come and splash the concrete in the cooling dark
before she fizzles out in the space between the stars.

134340 Pluto

Even a cartoon dog would be muzzled out here
where the planet is dwarved below the asteroid belt.
There are no names when you get this far from the sun
to imprint a feature against the tundra of methane.

The planet is just another dwarf in the asteroid belt.
Even if the rings of plutonium fused in our bombs
could hollow a hot lake into this tundra of methane
nothing would put an end to the perpetual winter.

Neither the dense metal rings we fuse in our bombs
nor a post-holocaustal nymph rising up from the wastes
could herald the end of this perpetual nuclear winter
and mutate our cells to a shape that is liveable here.

Expect no gaunt women rising from the wastes.
If you find a broken husband eyeballing the sky,
praying for her cells to somehow grow liveable here,
tell him to roll down onto his side and lie still.

For every broken husband must eyeball the sky,

when he finds there are no names this far from the sun.

Now turn on your side. Roll over, boy, and lie still.

Even the cartoon dogs must get muzzled out here.

Dearest reader! Our newsletter!

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest content, freebies, news and competition updates, right to your inbox. From the oldest literary periodical in the UK.

You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or directly on Find our privacy policies and terms of use at the bottom of our website.