We are looking for an escape route, a planet fit to occupy.
Here, we live in headlines, instructed to call fire,
to play dead.
Every day, they are naming another exoplanet, with key words
like “hospitable” and “temperate”.
Light consumes itself in space and under a bridge, in a howling river,
in a bag, beneath the floorboards, in her apartment, in a field,
on fire, in the trunk of a car, in a dank basement,
We look into a stippled sky where somewhere seven Earth-like planets
spin quiet around a distant dwarf star—
They dig, dredge the river, pull our bodies from great depths
and shallow graves.
TRAPPIST-1 and her unroofed globes in mercury vapor—
seven homes to receive us.
Space telescope daguerrotype, they are islands for us exiles.
Astronomers report they might support life
while we haunt our homes like strays. Last week,
another girl was torn open in a very likely city.
Our vision is of us crawling out the window to dance in seven moon lights.
We will flee on the backs of migrating birds,
pollen spores, sound waves and comet dust.
We won’t make eye contact. We’ll turn
and run, take our breath counting Mississippi’s
for seconds falling into the zippers
of minutes, for time laid before us in light-years, or parsecs,
for the distance we evacuate into.