— Diane Lee Moomey
In the first world, the sun
rose only every other day, and the moon
fell from the sky
because the gravity module worked
in theory only. Tenants
refused to move in, and the first world
The next was an improvement,
though the second-generation gravity module
slipped a disc, and everything fell sideways.
The tenants complained because
whatever they dropped the neighbors got,
and drapes were all soaked through,
though it was written in their lease
to keep windows shut during stormy weather.
They moved out, and the second world
The third was nearly perfect until
the icemaker jammed
and froze the planet solid at both poles
almost to the equator. Most of the tenants
moved out in protest, still owing rent.
It would have been a crime
to jettison a world so nearly perfect,
and the Powers agreed to thaw it out
and try again. Tenants returned, but this lot
smoked, and fought over everything
including the thermostat—
the icemaker couldn’t keep up.
You’d think they would have learned
from the second world: all the carpeting had to be re-created.
They moved out anyhow.
The fourth world will be non-smoking.
Would-be tenants are picketing, but everyone knows
this is the only world in town. This time round
the Powers agree to keep the blue ones and the red ones
on separate continents, and to confiscate that
internal combustion engine they are all so fond of.
The fifth world is still on the storyboard.