New Words for Triceratops


Extinction again, because the yard is filled

with echoes when our volcanoes go silent,

when our swamps are emptied

of saurian cows. There are still bottles

full of aspirin and whiskey for the porch,

brains full of blood and idiocy for that day


the riverbank crawls to the house and chases

scaly spirits from where they lodge

wet in the basement. Never mind

our bodies lying bird-hipped, snapped’

bangles of deciduous bone wrecked


for the geologic record. When the sparrows

remember jangling about the Cretaceous

in armor and horn, when eagles reveal

secret desires for airplanes, when the buffalo

bellow for asteroids leveled at the prairie,


our skeletons will tell us about the creatures

we were, about the beasts we hoped to become.

Somewhere there is a girl who twists limbs

from rag dolls, somewhere a boy

with a dinosaur head.


So many of the things we wish for are things

without breath. We don’t need to hear a word.

Just say our names as the world begins

its slow wink into night.

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked