Astronautics (or, an email I sent to neil degrasse tyson while sitting in whole foods) – Lily Tice

we learn the solar system like it’s on a plane:
flat, horizontal, beyond but not below,
Andromeda due west, alpha centauri east,
Helios running bowling ball sunshine down the alley to Pluto and Quaoar, Sedna and

all knocked out of the game out of technicality, but

if the game gets too loud, who is there
to bang a broom on the ceiling,
screaming to keep it down?
what celestial body calls the cops of the heavens,
screams about noise pollution, about
Voyager, an unwanted Witness canvassing at his door?

star sailor, careen your submersible
and descend to the underneath—
the cosmos below us.
tilt your compasses to the unseen below.

we are almost all the way to heaven.

Lily TiceLily Tice is an Augusta, GA native living in Chattanooga, TN, where she is a Creative Writing major at Covenant College. She serves as staff poet for The Narrator literary magazine and is publishing her first poetry collection, Things We Lost With Our Milk Teeth, in August. Se has been writing formally for four years.