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Forgotten Planet

I ask my daughter to name the planets.
"Venus ...Mars ...and Plunis!" she says.
When I was six or seven my father
woke me in the middle of the night.
We went down to the playground and lay
on our backs on the concrete looking up
for the meteors the tv said would shower.

I don't remember any meteors. I remember
my back pressed to the planet Earth,
my father's bulk like gravity next to me,
the occasional rumble from his throat,
the apartment buildings dark-windowed,
the sky close enough to poke with my finger.

Now, knowledge erodes wonder.
The niggling voce reminds me that the sun
does shine on the dark side of the moon.
My daughter's ignorance is my bliss.
Through her eyes I spy like a voyeur.

I travel in a rocket ship to the planet Plunis.
On Plunis I no longer long for the past.
On Plunis there are actual surprises.
On Plunis I am happy.

—Doug Dorph

from Too Too Flesh, Mudfish Individual Poet Series #3, 2000
Box Turtle Press, New York, NY

Copyright 2000 by Doug Dorph.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Box Turtle Press from Too Too Flesh, Mudfish Individual Poet Series #3, 2000. Copyright 2000 by Doug Dorph. For further permissions information, contact Mudfish / Box Turtle Press, 184 Franklyn Street, New York, NY 10013, [email protected].

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Doug Dorph is the author of the poetry collection Too Too Flesh (Box Turtle Press, 2000). His poems have also appeared in numerous magazines and journals including The New Yorker.

Learn more about Doug Dorph at Mudfish.