Put on these pants, run your hands
down your thighs. Like the scales?
Wearing dinosaur pants honors
the common pool of DNA
from which all poetics derive.
You wonder what dinosaurs left
inscribed or impressed in mud
besides their notorious pawprints.
Sometimes prowling riverbeds
in search of polished garden stones
I find in the sandstone ledge
runic scrawls a reptile claw
might have penned in a moment
of reflection on the forthcoming
and predictable mass extinction.
Although I can’t read these marks
by touching them I feel a throb
in my brain that corresponds
to the ache for mutual expression
that binds us to trees and mice.
You know that feeling: a whisk
of fibers across tingling nerves,
a pleasure rooted too deeply
to betray its source. Wearing
dinosaur pants in public
proclaims your allegiance to facts
that foil the religious fools
who rely too much on one brave book
to shield them from the distance
that pours like milk through us all.
You look good in that tight fabric,
the green-gray scales flattering
your gunpowder complexion,
and your confident stride folding
and unfolding dinosaur-thoughts
that never go out of fashion.
WILLIAM DORESKI’s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently A Black River, A Dark Fall (Splash of Red, 2018).