A Poem By Sarah Sala

No one ever asked me if I liked being called Pluto

When Pluto was a planet, X got detention for keeping
their eyes open during prayer. They wondered, are all
grandmas named Dorothy? Their voice became a mind
no one else could hear.

When no one knew what a planet was anymore,
X read the Sunday comics alongside the original
eight. New mnemonics replaced the old:

They love me, they’re terrestrial. They love me,
they’re gaseous. They love me not, I’m an ice planet.
X studied childhood obesity with jellybeans asking,
which one is the best?

When Pluto was a dwarf planet, X had sex in a pajama set,
with the Kuiper Belt repeating yes-yes-yes-yes.
Children wrote misspelled letters to scientists exclaiming,
If there are people who live there they won’t exist.

Then X’s sister birthed a niece, a small impact
with jet black hair. They named her Lola, which means:
no one ever asked me if I liked being called Pluto.

Sarah Sala

SARAH SALA is a poet and educator who hails from Brooklyn, Michigan. Her poem “Hydrogen” was featured in the “Elements” episode of NPR’s hit show Radiolab in collaboration with Emotive Fruition. The Ghost Assembly Line, a chapbook of her selected poetry, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Her poems appear in Wreck Park, Atlas Review, and The Stockholm Review of Literature among others. Visit her at
Talya Chalef 

About the Author /

Christopher Blackman is a poet and educator. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where he attended Ohio State University. His poems have been published in the Atlas Review. He was a 2015 teaching fellow with the Kenyon Review Young Writers’ Workshop. He lives in Manhattan, where he is an MFA candidate in poetry at Columbia University.

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