“Lost in Space” by Leah Mueller

Leah Mueller


for Jeff

In space, no one
can hear you ask,

“Do you have
a Prime account?”
at Whole Foods.

Nor can they offer
free shipping with
a thirty-day trial membership.

The Washington Post,
with its endless chatter
of neoliberal propaganda,
fades into distant memory.

Just you, with your
fishbowl helmet, framing
your baldness
like a translucent crown.

Fly into the outer reaches
of the galaxy, colonize Mars
into an enormous warehouse.

No one will clock in
late for their graveyard shift.

You won’t need
to count the days
before your dividends

arrive: that final billion
dollar deposit, until
you explode into

a magnificent supernova,
molecules scattering
their alms to a plundered
and impoverished cosmos.

Somewhere, a woman
orders underwear
from a small online company.

Somewhere, a programmer
finds discount software
at the last Radio Shack.

You are oblivious space dust,
particles floating like
dollar bills through the galaxies,
one for each remaining star.

from Poets Respond
June 15, 2021


Leah Mueller: “I was amused by the news that Jeff Bezos intends to fly a rocket into space. Despite my disregard for oligarchs, I can’t help but be impressed by the sheer hubris of his plan. The richest man in the world seems to be bored with his affairs on earth, so he seeks the ultimate thrill. I tried to imagine what it might be like for him go into the cosmos and never return. Would it be a relief? What would happen to his empire? Would anyone really miss him?” (web)

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