Plateosaurus

by Robin Gow

1.
Bones, like words,
are easily misread. 
Broad lizard. Flat lizard.

2.
The Triassic was computer-screen wide.
Flicking in the foreground without
a naming. What beautiful word 
will another creature use 
to name our history-scape.

3.
We lay down in the carved-out earth
beside the contorted bones of 
the dinosaur. His fingers splayed out
as if he were trying to grasp 
a rustling—as if there were
still foliage to be torn apart.

4.
My brother and I mimic his pose.
We try to see the bones inside each other
by staring hard and deep. 

5.
The bones lurk like sharks 
beneath tides of skin.

6.
We ask the dinosaur how he died and
the bones don’t move and so we have
to dig them up and my brother uses 
a plastic shovel and I use a spoon.
We have to be gentle. 

7.
I know that it isn’t true but I want to
imagine the dinosaur arranging his bones
himself—laying down gracefully and declaring
this is how I want to be found.  

8.
After working all night in the yard, 
I tell my brother
This is how I want to be found
as I lie on the floor of my bedroom
two floors up in our old farm house that 
winces with each gust of wind.
He tells me
I don’t want to ever be found.