Astronomers measure planetary eclipses
like pupils dipped into eyes
scanning for a second earth-shape
like tailors tightening their tapes for the perfect length.
Too late they’ll find this globe and its shape
an exception: one in a thousand galaxies.
Out there they’ll find the puce planet
that smells of egg and birch;
the geode-colored planet, caving in
like a fatigued balloon; or one
with raccoon-like natives racing
laps over a home smaller than the moon;
one without a patch to sow, where no grass
ever topped a break in the hills.
Like students scanning down the listings,
our scientists turn incensed from each poor find:
a globe without an ocean bigger than a pond,
missing clouds in a dull mulberry-hued sky.
How could we live in the one without any moon,
or with twelve dozen satellites crowding out the stars,
flatfishes with eyes on both sides of the body,
short-necked giraffes, moles with sight,
snakes with ape tongues, or birds with five opposing thumbs
shocked by an opaque jellyfish?