Un-tasked with breath, but still taking on air
and light, and light on its feet for once—
feeling up for a jaunt to the gift shop
to buy what it thinks is a mirror.
And yet the spirit has no weight
to move the hull. It spills through the porous bones,
if even a thing at all, boomerang once slid from the jaw.
If it loves you, it’ll come back.
Lights out. The guards grow beards,
lose them, grey, but every weekday morn comes the same
mellifluous light, the honeyed light that cradles
the same bony mask in its palm.
When you’re famous, you’re known for one
famous expression, encyclopedia-worthy.
The T-Rex attempts a smile for field trips
but the bones don’t give; jaws remain child-sized.
Cannot see the plaque facing outward by its feet,
cannot speak to assumptions of temperament,
tyranny. Of all the imaginary, unmusical—
the tin box roars below at the press of a button.
In which the keys of the great lizard’s spine
sing under the swoop of a sliding Fred Flintstone.
Nat King Cole: But it wouldn’t be make-believe
if you believed in me. In which the dead still speak to us.
Now the distance from which extinct begins
its bleed into imaginary.
The mountain’s relief worn down, green
fog spreading smooth. We turn away.
And so the lions, and so the blind insect
that never escaped the jungle’s palate, and so
the mammoth, manatee, and our hearts
that fit snug anywhere but our own chests.
And so the continents that, over millennia,
draw their breath then exhale. And so each morning
the bathroom light comes on and we excavate
our faces, try to step backward, toward what we remember.about the author