| words that get in your teeth

Pluto by Miriam Sagan

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we almost got hit
and killed
last night
on the road behind the dam
when another car
came out of nowhere

or—it’s good
I hadn’t pulled
into then lane
when the driver
took the turn too fast

or, luck saved me,
or a guardian angel
so I could
arrive on time
go to the party
with people not really
my friends


you’ve been dead
almost twenty-five years
and I hear
a phone ringing
in a casita
without a phone

the music of the spheres
over the rented house

mathematics implies
a planet
the astronomer finds it
only smaller
than imagined

wants to discover
its own celestial body—and suddenly
there is Pluto
over Flagstaff, Arizona

things come and go—
grief, amusement,
and the planet Pluto

I’ve changed my mind
and everything
and nothing
patterns arranged
to receive and delight
and all those other
half born


Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 published books, including two recent memoirs, A Hundred Cups of Coffee (Tres Chicas Books) and Bluebeard’s Castle, (Red Mountain).She founded and headed the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College until her retirement in 2016.  Her blog Miriam’s Well (http://miriamswell.wordpress.com) has 1500 daily readers. She has been a writer in residence in four national parks, at Yaddo, MacDowell, Colorado Art Ranch, Andrew’s Experimental Forest, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Iceland’s Gullkistan Residency for creative people, and another dozen or so remote and unique places. She was at  Kura Studio, Itoshima, Japan, where she was working on text installations as part of the creative team “Maternal Mitochondria.” Her awards include the Santa Fe Mayor’s award for Excellence in the Arts, the Poetry Gratitude Award from New Mexico Literary Arts, and a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa. She is a two time winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards.

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