Sunday Poem: “Brownfaced”


There is water
on planet k2-18b,
110 light-years away
in the Leo constellation.

A year is short,
only 33 days.

With 10 statutory holidays,
life could not be better.

No crime.
Sea level does not rise.
Energy is plentiful and renewable.

Would have been perfect,
if not for an old photo
introduced just before election,
showing their beloved leader
in a school party
wearing green makeup,
celebrating Martian Nights.

People reacted in disbelief.
The opposition smelled blood.
Social media exploded,
triggering a shockwave
that reached far beyond their galaxy.

Which is how NASA discovered them.


(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)

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