Rishi Agrawal πŸ”ˆ

Pluto Is No Longer a Planet

Pluto by NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute


Free puppet show at the library.
Astronomer Ostrich discusses with Didactic Dog
about orbits, stellar spectra.
About how the universe doesn’t revolve
around the Earth and our insignificance.
According to the mnemonic,
My Very Evil Mother Just Stole Uncle Ned’s Pants,
but someone stole the pants from that sentence.
Children cry. What happened to Pluto?
Did it blow up? Did everyone die?


In my scale model of the solar system
made of fruit, Pluto is a raisin
sprayed with glow-in-the-dark polyurethane.
In the darkness, it disappears and reappears
as it rotates behind a pumpkin sun.
Once, they thought there were Martian canals
and that Jupiter was entirely gaseous.
And someday I will go to Pluto
and coo at the methane snow:
It’s okay, little plutoid. Maybe they’re wrong
about you, too. Until then, I stare
at the stupid plastic planets on my walls
and the night sky hidden by houses.

Author Reading

About the Author

Rishi Agrawal teaches English and Creative Writing in Virginia. He holds an MFA from Indiana University and has had poems appear in Mudfish and Barrow Street. His poetry received an Honorable Mention by Campbell McGrath for an Academy of American Poets prize.