"Anachronism" by Colleen Abel

Colleen Abel

Colleen Abel

Colleen Abel is the author of Housewifery, a chapbook (dancing girl press, 2013). A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow, her work has appeared in numerous venues including The Southern Review, Mid-American Review, West Branch, The Journal, Cimarron Review, Verse Daily, Cincinnati Review, Ploughshares' blog, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD from UW-Milwaukee and is currently the Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow at Warren Wilson College.


You carry nine planets in a watering can
We’ve explained about Pluto      we even
watch a cartoon where the Big
Eight pariah their littlest
brother in a chorale of scowls

The planets sleep with us in the Big
Bed      they bathe     (Your book
tells you Saturn     swollen with helium
would float in Earth water     it does)

You say
You live on Earth     your father
lives on Earth     I live on Mars
and I feel it    breathing the dust
of you crying for him     at each
small hurt and sleeping     your
head to his chest     your feet
in my guts

These are new times:

Mother     vestigial

At least when at last you
banish Pluto     in secret
down the bathtub drain     you wail after it