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The Philosophy of Space-Age Plastics

Read by Jennifer Abbott

My skin crinkles like cellophane. It disintegrates
in the sun. There is nowhere to run to, but I still run.

Every sunrise is a birth or a trick of the Earth’s rotation.
Every sunset is an opening into darkness or without alternative.

If I dreamt I set a field on fire, was it a field of plastic?
This green smoke settles on the skin and burns like ice, like stone.

In space no days pass, and so we never age. We mellow. We steep.
We grow stronger and stronger in our small cup of steel.

Then we die without warning, without goodbye, as nature intended.
As nature intended, we fall to the earth in flames, heaven-pushed

by jealous gods and wreathed in the glory of satellites. They expected
us to die, but we became our own saints. They gave us fire,

and from fire everything depended. O immortal plastic!
Here is a drought-starved town. Here is a dry field. Here is a match.

Andrew Kozma’s poems have appeared in Weave, Iron Horse Literary Review, Strange Horizons, and The Chariton Review. His first book of poems, City of Regret (Zone 3 Press, 2007), won the Zone 3 First Book Award. He has been the recipient of a Houston Arts Alliance Fellowship, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship, and a D. H. Lawrence Fellowship. His chapbook A Natural History, written with Michelle Schmidt, will be published in 2011 by Blue Hour Press.