DEPICTION OF A MAN AND A WOMAN ON THE PIONEER 10 SPACE PROBE PLAQUE
If a representation of a man with a penis
and a woman without a vagina
is hurtling at 20 clicks a second
away from earth and makes contact
with an alien who thinks
just as we do
so admires the woman’s hairdo but gets
the method of procreation wrong, well,
it won’t be by accident, will it.
The man, I must say, is anatomically lovely and I like
how his raised hand illustrates the opposable thumb
while doubling as a sign of good will.
But would it have killed us
to add a short line for her cleft?
To make her an artifact, not space junk,
mound of Venus with a Brazilian wax job instead of Barbie Mattel?
They say Greek statuary omits it, but come on,
we talk about being safe then spend our days splitting the atom.
In the time it takes me to write snatch, cunt, beaver, quim, poontang,
the impression’s a further 300 miles away.
The chances of correction are, I’ll face it, nil.
When the earth’s shriveled up like a douche bag in a campfire
the plaque will carry on; ambassador
of the easily offended, the quickly aroused.
It hopes you will understand.
From The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013 (ed. Sue Goyette) by Donna Kane.